US Horse Racing - Yearly Events Calendar

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Your Guide to the Biggest and Best Races in US Horse Racing

US Horse Racing - Yearly Events CalendarThe Horse Racing Calendar in the US is dominated by the three Triple Crown Races and the Breeders Cup event at the end of the season.  The Triple Crown consists of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course and the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park, New York. The Breeders Cup is a two day meeting, currently held at Santa Anita Park.

In the following article firstly you’ll see all of the important build up races to the Triple Crown and how these races affect the Kentucky Derby field. Then you’ll read about the Triple Crown itself, moving onto the Breeders Cup and the most important races of the racing spectacular.

Road to the Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby build up actually starts in September the previous year with the Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs over a mile. This is the first of thirty four races that make up the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” – a point based qualifying system, where the top twenty point scoring horses will gain a place in the Kentucky Derby field.  The qualifying period is divided into two, with the “Prep” season running from September to February, and the Championship Series which runs from February up until two weeks before the Kentucky Derby itself.

These qualifying races grow in value as the series goes on, with seven races at the end of March and the beginning of April being the most valuable. These races are the Florida Derby, the Louisiana Derby, the Wood Memorial, the Santa Anita Derby, the Arkansas Derby, the Blue Grass Stakes and the only race based outside the US in the UAE Derby at Meydan in Dubai.

The Lexington Stakes at Keeneland is the final wild card race in the series, and the final twenty for the Kentucky Derby will now be confirmed.

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The Kentucky Derby

The Race for the Roses is always run on the first Saturday of May over the distance of one and a quarter miles. Known as the “Most exciting two minutes in Sport”, this race is the best attended race in North America. The rich and famous spectators will frequent “Millionaires Row”, while a party atmosphere takes place on the infield where many thousands of spectators with general admission congregate.

The Kentucky Derby, and indeed the rest of the Triple Crown are for three year old Thoroughbreds only.

The Kentucky Oaks is always run the day before the Kentucky derby and is the third most highly attended race in the US racing season.

The Preakness Stakes

The “Run for the Black Eyed-Susans” is the second leg of the Triple Crown and almost always features the winner of the Kentucky Derby. This race is run over nine and a half furlongs and is the second best attended race in the US.  The race is always run on the third Saturday in May, so takes places exactly a fortnight after the Kentucky Derby.

The Belmont Stakes

“The Test of the Champion” is the longest in distance of three Triple Crown races, being run over a mile and a half. Interest is at its greatest in this race when a horse has won the first two legs of the Triple Crown, and is run in early June, exactly three weeks after the Preakness Stakes and five weeks after the Kentucky Derby.

Horse Race

The Breeders Cup

The Breeders Cup is a two day meeting that takes place in late Fall every year.  There are fourteen races at the meeting, and the venue has regularly changed over the years. Since 2012 it has been run at Santa Anita Park, but since its inception in 1984 it has taken place at ten different tracks. The Breeders Cup has a more international feel than the Triple Crown events, with many raiders coming from Europe and the rest of the world to take on America’s best.

Apart from the two year old races, there is no age restriction, so unlike the Triple Crown races, there is an opportunity for repeat winners. The races with the biggest purses are:

The Breeders Cup Distaff – formally known as the Ladies Classic and run over nine furlongs.

The Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies – Over 8.5 miles for two year old fillies.

The Breeders Cup Juvenile – For two year olds over nine furlongs.

The Breeders Cup Turf – For three year olds and upwards run over a mile and a half on turf.

The Breeders Cup Mile – Run on grass again, for three year olds and upwards.

The Breeders Cup Classic – Ran on dirt, this is the richest race of the meeting, run over ten furlongs. This race is seen as the Premier thoroughbred race of the year in the US.

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Planet Mark's Top Rec:

32Red are giving the old 'High Street Bookies' sports betting brands some real trouble in 2019.

This very slick site offers top-rated odds; a huge range of bets and a big list of player promotions (really, check the latest before you bet elsewhere). This now includes an excellent 100% profit boost offer for all new players.

32Red are my go-to betting site, you’ll quickly find out why once you see www.32red.com/sports for yourself - check them now!

 

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