down cross right results icon premium content video audio lifeNews icon-comment tick starFilled betSlip hot icon-liveCommentary refresh spinner
coral logo ladbrokes logo betway logo williamHill logo bet365 logo paddypower logo 888sport logo
TODAY'S OFFERS
TODAY'S BOOKMAKER OFFERS
Exclusive to new customers
  • View offer
    £20 Risk free first bet
    Claim here
    Open an account with Paddy Power and place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses they will refund your stake in cash, max refund for this offer is £20. Limited to one per person. If you've previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Only deposits using Cards or Paypal will qualify. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £30 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open an account with William Hill using promo code C30, bet £10 and get £30 in free bets. Min £10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £10, 30 day expiry, free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £30 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open a betting account with Coral through our site and when you place your first bet on horse racing (£10 or more) they'll give you 3 x £10 free bets. 18+. UK+IRE New Customers Only. First bet at least £10 or £10 each-way, at fractional odds totalling 1/2 or greater. Free Bets credited as 3 x £10. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet will not be included in any winnings. T&Cs Apply
  • View offer
    Bet £5 get £20 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open an account with Ladbrokes using promo code 20FREE and place a bet of £5 and you'll get £20 in free bets. 18+. UK+IRE New Customers Only. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account registration at min odds 1-2. Free Bets credited as 4 x £5. Free bet valid for 4 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs Apply
  • View offer
    Up to £30 in free bets
    Claim here
    Join betway, opt in, deposit £10 or more and you will get a 100% matched amount, up to £30 as free bets to split however you like. T&Cs apply. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock free bet. Deposit by card or paypal only.
  • View offer
    Up to £100 in Bet Credits
    Claim here
    Min deposit £5 and 1x settled bet requirement to release Bet Credits. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £40 in free bets
    Claim here
    Join 888sport using promo code RACING and when you bet £10, you'll get £30 in free bets PLUS £10 in free bets on any horse racing market. Min deposit £10. First bet minimum odds 1-2. Free bet credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expires after 7 days. Free bet stakes not included in returns. Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £40 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open an account with Ladbrokes using promo code RP40 and place a bet of £10 and you'll get £40 in free bets. 18+. UK+IRE New Customers Only. First bet at least £10 or £10 each-way, at fractional odds totalling 1-2 or greater. Free Bets credited as 4 x £10. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet will not be included in any winnings. T&Cs Apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £30 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open an account with William Hill using promo code C30, bet £10 and get £30 in free bets. Min £10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £10, 30 day expiry, free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    £50 Risk free first bet
    Claim here
    Open an account with Paddy Power and place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses they will refund your stake in cash, max refund for this offer is £50. Limited to one per person. If you've previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Only deposits using Cards or Paypal will qualify. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £40 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open a betting account with Coral through our site and when you place your first bet on horse racing (£10 or more) they'll give you 4 x £10 free bets. 18+. UK+IRE New Customers Only. First bet at least £10 or £10 each-way, at fractional odds totalling 1/2 or greater. Free Bets credited as 4 x £10. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet will not be included in any winnings. T&Cs Apply

Sacred US version modelled on British blueprint

Nicholas Godfrey has a look at the American Triple Crown

Always Dreaming looks out from the stall reserved for the Kentucky Derby winner at Pimlico, where he will bid for the Preakness Stakes on Saturday
1 of 1

1 Originating in mid-19th century horseracing in Britain, the term 'Triple Crown' has been transported around the racing world and into other sports and prizes involving competitive endeavours. Generally speaking, it is used to denote the three most prestigious events in any given field. Among triple crowns currently in operation are the Triple Crowns of Professional Paintball, Long-Distance Hiking, Science Fiction and the Triple Crown of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York. The three-tiered papal tiara – which admittedly predates the St Leger – is now also called the triple crown (or triregnum).

2 Camelot notwithstanding, the British Triple Crown has been rendered an anachronism with the St Leger seldom considered a primary target for Derby winners – and a dwindling number of 2,000 Guineas winners contesting the Derby. The US Triple Crown, however, consisting of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes in a five-week spree in May to early June, remains the ultimate prize of US racing.

3 The record books tell us that Sir Barton became the first Triple Crown winner in 1919 – but at the time he was never acknowledged as such, as the term was not in common parlance until the 1930s. Charles Hatton of the Daily Racing Form is said to have popularised the phrase.

4 Although each Triple Crown race is open to both colts and fillies, the latter take part only rarely. None has completed the sweep, but three have won the Kentucky Derby – Regret (1915), Genuine Risk (1980) and Winning Colors (1988) – and Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra famously beat Derby winner Mine That Bird in the Preakness in 2009. There have been attempts to develop a 'Filly Triple Crown' and New York had its own 'Triple Tiara' between 1968 and 1993; eight fillies managed the feat.

5 The Triple Crown technically became possible with the creation of the Kentucky Derby in 1875 (the Belmont started in 1867, the Preakness in 1873). For a long period it was a moveable feast – for example, the Preakness was run before the Derby 11 times before 1931. Anybody with Triple Crown ambitions in 1917 or 1922 faced quite a stiff task: the Derby and Preakness were run on the same day.

6 The Triple Crown's sacred status was under severe threat in the early 1980s, when twice in four years the Kentucky Derby winner skipped the Preakness. In 1982, Eddie Gregson, trainer of Derby winner Gato Del Sol, reckoned his horse was better served by more rest and the longer distance of the Belmont, where he was beaten 14 lengths by Conquistador Cielo.

7 A $5 million bonus (no longer in existence) linking the three races was introduced after Spend A Buck's connections chased money elsewhere in 1985. The subsequent Horse of the Year won the Derby by more than five lengths but instead of going to Pimlico, he went back to newly reopened Garden State Park in New Jersey where the owners had offered a $2m bonus for any horse winning a pair of races he had already won, the Kentucky Derby and the $1m Jersey Derby. As traditionalists wrung their hands, Spend A Buck scored again in Jersey at odds of 1-20 to net $2.6m for two minutes' work. Runner-up was Creme Fraiche, who won the Belmont 12 days later.

8 The legendary Secretariat holds the record time in all three legs – though it took a bit of retrospective revisionism, Frankel ratings-style, for him to be recognised as the fastest Preakness winner. At the time there was a stopwatch controversy after the infield teletimer malfunctioned. Secretariat's time was registered at 1m55s, but a hand-held clocking was posted at 1m54.40s; still good, but no record. The Daily Racing Form's time was a record, though, at 1m53.40s; after scrutinising race footage, an even faster official time of 1m53s was given official recognition in 2012, 39 years after the event. That's how great Secretariat was: he could get faster even after he was dead.

9 Unlike in most European Classics, geldings are allowed to contest the Triple Crown races (though they were prohibited from the Belmont from 1919 to 1956). None has ever completed the sweep, although Funny Cide won the first two legs in 2003. Nine geldings have won the Kentucky Derby.

10 After three Triple Crown winners in the 1970s, an array of reasons were tabled for the subsequent list of near-misses before American Pharoah achieved the feat in 2015. Real Quiet failed by a nose at Belmont, where Charismatic broke down 50 yards from the wire and Big Brown did not finish (owing to dehydration, it was claimed). The most bizarre excuse came via the brilliant Spectacular Bid, whose Belmont bid was allegedly compromised after he stepped on a safety pin in 1980. Nothing to do with his jockey's premature move, of course.

The Triple Crown's sacred status was under severe threat in the early 1980s, when twice in four years the Kentucky Derby winner skipped the Preakness

Key data

Always Dreaming
Bookmaker
Price
E.W. Terms
Sporting
BetVictor
Sky bet
Boylesport
RaceBets