Triple Crown Winner?

One of the big questions that everyone is asking before tomorrow’s Preakness Stakes at Pimlico is, whether Nyquist has a chance of winning the Triple Crown. It’s a long shot any way you look at it, and here’s why.

There’s a reason why last year was the first time since the 1970s that a horse won the Triple Crown. American Pharaoh won each of the three legs of the race in a convincing fashion, but with these three races so close together, and the distance of the races being so long, it is very easy for a horse to get worn down and injured, or for a well rested horse to come in and win one of the latter two legs of the Triple Crown. We will see that tomorrow at Pimlico. There are several horses racing tomorrow that didn’t race at the Kentucky Derby, most notably Stradivari, Abiding Star, and Fellowship. These horses are all going to be much fresher than the top two picks in the race: Nyquist and Exaggerator. Given all other conditions being equal, that would put the favorites at a disadvantage. In three weeks, when the Belmont Stakes go off, the same horses would have an even bigger advantage. In other words, an equally talented horse has a better chance of winning if he’s fresh, and the deeper we get into Triple Crown territory, the more likely that is to happen.

The payout odds of Nyquist winning the Triple Crown, according to the Las Vegas sports books, is +180. In horse racing terms, that’s a slightly worse payout than 2-1. The real odds of Nyquist winning the Triple Crown are probably worse than 10-1, making this a horrible bet. We think that Nyquist is the legitimate favorite for the Preakness, but there’s very little chance of him winning the Belmont Stakes. Ideally, if you were to take this bet at a sports book, you should try to get better odds. Instead, betting through a parimutuel venue like TwinSpires will ensure that you get better odds on race day action, especially when it comes to the exotic bets.