In thoroughbred racing, all 2-year-olds turn 3 years old on January 1. It doesn’t matter if the horse was born in December a year ago. The equine becomes a year older as soon as January 1 happens, which is why all 2 year olds from 2023 are now 3 year olds.
Will there be a Triple Crown in 2023?
We answer that question as well as profile Triple Crown contenders, plus MyBookie offers the online racebook lines for the races this year.
Will 2024 Have a Triple Crown Winner? | MyBookie Horse Racing Preview
2024 Kentucky Derby | 150th edition of the Kentucky Derby – May 4
2024 Preakness Stakes | 150th edition of the Preakness Stakes – May 18
2024 Belmont Stakes | 156th edition of the Preakness Stakes – June 8
What to know about the 2024 Triple Crown
Belmont to be run at Saratoga and at 1 ¼ miles
Before answering if there will be a Triple Crown winner in 2023, it’s important to note that renovations at Belmont Park will push the Test of Champions, the 1 ½ mile Belmont Stakes, to Saratoga this season.
It’s tough, impossible really, to run a 1 ½ mile dirt race at Saratoga. So this year’s Belmont will run at 1 ¼ miles.
There won’t be a Triple Crown winner because a Bob Baffert runner will win the Preakness
Churchill Downs has decided to extend Bob Baffert’s ban for another year. Baffert, the winningest trainer in Kentucky Derby history, will ready his horses for the second jewel, the Preakness.
Baffert won the 2023 Preakness with a fresh horse, National Treasure. We should expect the same. By the time the Belmont happens, and because it happens at Saratoga where Baffert can run horses, Bob may also win the third jewel. So there won’t be any Triple Crown winner this year because Baffert will beat the Derby winner in both the Preakness and the Belmont.
If there is a Triple Crown winner, one of the following equines will be the TC winner
If a Triple Crown does happen, it won’t but if you want to take a chance on it happening, Fierceness is the runner that could get it done. Todd Pletcher trained Fierceness to a daylight score in the 2023 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
Sired by City of Light and from Nonna Belle, Fierceness should have the perfect blend of speed and stamina. Nonna Belle called Empire Maker and Bernardini her grandsires. City of Light easily won the 1 1/8 miles Pegasus World Cup.
Another Todd Pletcher trained runner, Locked has the breeding to win the Triple Crown. Locked finished third behind Bob Baffert trained Muth and Fierceness in the BC Juvenile.
The Gun Runner sired 3-year-old won the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland. The class is there. So if Pletcher can get this one ready for the Derby and the Baffert runners don’t show up in the Preakness or Belmont, Locked can get it done.
Of Brad Cox’s two Kentucky Derby contenders, Nash is the slight choice over Timberlake. Things can change big time. But for now, Nash has the edge.
Nash finished third behind Track Phantom and Snead in the Gun Runners stakes on December 23. Cox will have Nash ready to fire his best shot on Derby Day.
Medaglia d’Oro sired and Malibu Moon is Nash’s grandsire. So the horse has the breeding.
The Into Mischief sired runner finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Timberlake finished second in the Grade 1 Hopeful and won the Champagne, which tells us he’s talented and is a winner.
But Timberlake must improve if Cox hopes to win the Kentucky Derby with the hard trying colt. Again, Cox is one of the best trainers on the planet. So getting Timberlake to run his best on the First Saturday in May should happen.
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