As 2017 draws to a close, it’s a good time to look back at what went down in the world of horse racing betting these past 12 months. For bettors in the US, it is the Triple Crown races that draw all of the attention, but there is a lot of big Grade I Horse Racing betting action need to determine who ends up eligible for those three races.
The fun all began at the Breeders Cup in 2016, but things really started to heat up in the early months of 2017.
A Look Back at this Year’s Horse Racing Betting Picks
Prep Season saw a number of horses emerge as potential Triple Crown threats, with Gormley leading the way with wins at the Front Runner Stakes and the Sham Stakes, both of which were held at Santa Anita Park.
McCracken also had a couple of wins during this race period, with the biggest one perhaps coming at the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, which was run at Churchill Downs, which just happens to be the home of the Kentucky Derby.
February through April in 2017 was when things really started to shape up, as that was when we entered into the Championship Series, which is comprised of 2 different legs. This is the part of the year when all the major stakes races are run, and when we find out which horses are likely to be in the running for the Triple Crown.
Girvin got the series started with a win in the Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds track, and there were also big wins for Gunnevera (Fountain of Youth Stakes), and Hence (Sunland Derby).
The second leg of the Championship Series kicked off in March with the UAE Derby, which was won by Thunder Snow. Girvin and Gormley won the Louisiana Derby and Santa Anita Derby, respectively, but perhaps the biggest showing was at the Florida Derby at Gulfstream, where Always Dreaming won in some considerable style.
The Triple Crown
- Kentucky Derby
- Preakness Stakes
- Belmont Stakes
The win by Always Dreaming at the Florida Derby had a lot of horse bettors convinced that he was the one to beat heading into the Triple Crown races, and he certainly got things off to a winning start.
Always Dreaming began the race as a 9-2 favorite, and he easily handled the less than perfect conditions at Churchill Downs to pull away and win by 2 ¾ lengths. Classic Empire, who had been the early favorite, ended up finishing 4th in the Kentucky Derby.
Two weeks after the running of the Kentucky Derby, a great group of horses headed to Pimlico for the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown. Always Dreaming started the race as a 6-5 favorite, but struggled and ended up finishing in 8th. Classic Empire ran a better race this time around, but faded coming down the stretch, allowing Cloud Computing to spring the upset at 13-1 odds.
While it’s always a little disappointing not to have a horse in contention for the Triple Crown when the Belmont Stakes rolls around, it’s always still a very talented group that takes to the course at Belmont Park in New York City.
Irish War Cry started the race as the 5-2 horse racing betting favorite, but the brutal distance of the Belmont Stakes did him in, as he was run down by Tapwrit, who hit the finish line as a 5-1 winner.
Top 5 at Triple Crown Races
- Always Dreaming (John Velazquez)
- Lookin At Lee (Corey Lanerie)
- Battle of Midway (Flavien Prat)
- Cloud Computing (Javier Castellano)
- Classic Empire (Julien Leparoux)
- Senior Investment (Channing Hill)
- Tapwrit (Jose Ortiz)
- Irish War Cry (Rajiv Maragh)
- Patch (John Velazquez)