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Winning the Triple Crown: Great Horses, Jockeys, and Earnings

The Triple Crown is the most coveted prize in American horse racing, awarded to the Thoroughbred that wins the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes in the same year. Only 13 horses have ever achieved this feat, cementing their names and those of their jockeys in racing history. The prestige and purse money make the Triple Crown the ultimate goal.

In 2022, the Kentucky Derby had a $3 million purse, the Preakness Stakes was $1.5 million, and the Belmont Stakes offered $1.5 million. A Triple Crown winner pockets over $6 million just in purse money for the three races. When breeding rights are factored in, the overall earnings are astronomical. American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown winner, went on to a reported $20+ million stud career. Big money draws the top equine talent to compete.

The best horses require world-class jockeys to navigate the unique demands of each race. The Kentucky Derby is 1.25 miles run by 20 horses vying for position. The Preakness is 1.1875 miles with a smaller field. The Belmont is a grueling 1.5 miles that tests a horse’s endurance. Expert jockeys conserve just enough energy for the final kick. They also adeptly handle their mount’s running style on each track. Bold and daring moves are needed to gain an edge. With so much at stake, horse and jockey must form a in-sync team.

In North Carolina, sports betting became legal in 2021. This expanding interest could increase attention and purses for North Carolina tracks. While no North Carolina-based horses or jockeys have won the Triple Crown thus far, some have shown promise.

One potential contender is 3-year-old Quarterback Sneak. This North Carolina-bred colt won some top 2-year-old races at Belmont Park in New York last fall. If he continues improving this year, his sire’s strong stamina genes could help him excel in the Triple Crown campaigns. His jockey, Carolina-based Anna Watson, has deftly guided him to four wins already. At just 22 years old, Watson’s career is rapidly accelerating. The pair will be an intriguing duo to watch on the Derby trail.
For a North Carolina jockey and horse tandem to win that first Triple Crown, they will need world-class talent combined with a dash of good luck. But the state’s growing interest and investment in top- notch racing could pave the way for a history-making performance in the coming years. When that thrilling moment happens, sports betting in North Carolina is sure to make the moment even more financially rewarding for bettors and the industry. The clock is ticking for a North Carolina Triple Crown breakthrough, with big money and everlasting glory waiting for the state’s next star athletes.

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Piper Klemm

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