2023 Triple Crown Betting, Odds, and Favorites

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Javier Castellano pitches ones from the garland to the crowd in the Winner s Circle following his victory aboard Mage

2023 Triple Crown Odds Highlights:

  • After winning the Kentucky Derby, Mage has 6-1 odds to win the Triple Crown.
  • Only 13 horses have won the Triple Crown and none since Justify in 2018.
  • Bob Baffert is the only trainer to win the Triple Crown in the modern era. Although he was barred from participating in Churchill Downs, he is expected to return to competition at this years running of the Preakness Stakes. 
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It's crunch time in the race to be a Triple Crown hero in 2023 and in this article, we are going to take an in-depth look at whether Kentucky Derby hero Mage can become the 14th horse to win the Triple Crown of horse racing.

2023 Triple Crown Odds

Kentucky Derby hero Mage is the only horse capable of going all the way to Triple Crown glory.

Mage cashed in on the late scratching of favorite Forte, who had twice beaten Mage in the build-up to Churchill Downs, by running out a commanding one-length winner of the Kentucky Derby under Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano.

So, it is one race down, two to go for Mage who must repeat his Churchill Downs heroics in the Preakness Stakes on May 20 if he is to head to Belmont Park on June 10 with a serious shot at legend status. 

While we wait for Kentucky to officially legalize sports betting, let's take a look at the odds to watch.

Triple Crown Betting Odds To Watch

The connections of all 18 horses that went to post in the 149th Kentucky Derby would have been dreaming of Triple Crown glory but, a shade over 2 minutes after the gates opened at Churchill Downs, that dream was only still alive for the connections of one horse - Mage.

That was the longest trip that Mage had run over so there has been a lot of focus on how the Good Magic colt has come out of that hard race, but the noises coming out of his camp in recent days have been nothing but positive.

Mage's co-owner Ramiro Restrepo said the chestnut colt was 'thriving' after his latest training session since winning the Derby, paving the way for the horse to enter the Triple Crown’s second jewel at Pimlico in Baltimore.

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Qualifying For The Triple Crown

To become a Triple Crown hero, a horse must win all three jewels in the crown. Those jewels are the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and finally the Belmont Stakes.

All three races are Grade 1 contests for three-year-olds only and all three take play between the first Saturday in May and mid-June each year.

In 2023, a total of 369 three-year-olds were made eligible for the Triple Crown series via a $600 payment to compete in each of the three races.

As many as 20 horses, who have earned qualifying points in a series of high-profile prep races, will earn a shot at the Kentucky Derby.

Eligibility for the Preakness Stakes, which is limited to 14 horses (6 less than the Kentuck Derby) is determined by earnings in previous races. However, there are a handful of 'Win and You're In' Preakness prep races like the Federico Tesio Stakes, Oaklawn Invitational and the El Camino Derby at Golden Gate Fields.

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2023 Triple Crown Top Contenders

The Triple Crown is the ultimate test of a three-year-old thoroughbred. The three Triple Crown races all take place within a five-week period which means that not only does any Triple Crown contender need to be top-class in terms of ability, he needs to be constitutionally bombproof.

There is not a great deal of time between each Triple Crown race so the ability to recover quickly from the previous contest is crucial.

Versatility is also a huge factor. A Triple Crown winner needs to have the speed to cope with the 9.5 furlongs of the Preakness Stakes as well as the stamina to see out the 12f at the huge Belmont Park in the final leg.

Does Mage have all the assets required to go all the way in 2023? Well, the signs are promising so far and the fact that connections are reporting him to be working so well after his Churchill Downs success suggests his powers of recovery are bang on the money.

Triple Crown 2023 Predictions

All eyes are on Mage who saw out the distance strongly in the Kentucky Derby but he'll face a raft of new-shooters at Pimlico and his Triple Crown credentials will be tested to the maximum.

The drop-back-in trip at Pimlico shouldn't be of any great inconvenience but the acid test will come at Belmont Park where his stamina will be examined like never before.

Mage is a +200 Preakness Stakes favorite and providing he doesn't draw a wide gate, everything looks set for him to run big at Pimlico.

However, it's worth remembering that only 23 horses have completed the Kentucky Derby/Preakness Stakes double, highlighting just how difficult his task is.

He'll face a number of horses that have been kept fresh for this specific race so it's likely he'll need to post a bigger set of numbers than he did in Kentucky to keep the Triple Crown dream alive.

How To Bet on the 2023 Triple Crown

The Triple Crown attracts more than $300 million in wagers each year and that number is rising fast thanks to the proliferation of online sports betting in Kentucky and across the US.

Each leg of the Triple Crown has its own betting markets and within those players have a number of betting options including win, place, and show bets.

Before the 2023 Kentucky Derby was run, Las Vegas casinos offered +650 odds that any horse would go on to win the Triple Crown and bookmakers have yet to reopen their Triple Crown markets.

There are, however, odds available for the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, where Mage is the bookmakers' favorite to strike again. 

Triple Crown Betting Types

There are various ways to bet on outright Triple Crown betting odds for each individual race.

When it comes to betting on the Triple Crown itself, most Kentucky sports betting apps offer the option of betting 'any horse to win the Triple Crown' or, once the Kentucky Derby has been run, betting the winner to go on and join the elite of US horse racing.

Their individual races themselves provide a whole host of betting opportunities, whether it be in the outright markets or one of the many prop bets that sportsbooks will make available on the day of the race.

How to Read Triple Crown Odds

Ahead of the Kentucky Derby, Triple Crown odds are normally published in the form of a single price (+650 in 2023) about 'any horse to win the Triple Crown'.

Betting will then be available for each individual Triple Crown race, with the outcome of the previous race often having a major bearing on the odds.

Race prices are generally published in list form, beginning with the race favorite (shortest odds) and ending with the outsider (biggest odds). Make sure to keep an eye out for the best Kentucky sportsbook promos before you make your wager!

Triple Crown Pari-Mutuel Betting System

Pari-mutuel betting enables players to bet into a pool in which odds are reflective of the amount bet into the pool on that particular runner. The more money bet on a runner in any horse race, the shorter its odds will be, and vice versa.

Pari-mutuel betting can often be more rewarding than betting fixed odds, especially when playing an outsider, but there is always a danger of lower returns, so there is an element of risk involved.

There will be Pari-mutuel betting on each individual leg of the Triple Crown and the pool opens in the build-up to each race.

It is often best to wait as long as possible before placing a Pari-mutuel wager because the greater the liquidity in the pool, the more accurate the prices will be compared to the closing price.

Triple Crown Futures Betting

Triple Crown futures betting via a racebook like TwinSpires Horse Racing will make plenty of appeal to those punters who think that the odds of their selection are going to shorten by post time, providing them with a 'value bet'.

Futures betting is a risky business because it is not even certain that the selection will even be declared to run, and if it doesn't, the bet will be settled as a loser.

Nevada casinos published futures betting on a potential Triple Crown winner before the Kentucky Derby.

If Mage goes on to win the Preakness Stakes, his odds of winning the Triple Crown will mirror those of his chances of Belmont Stakes glory.

Triple Crown Prop Bets

Prop bets will only tend to be available on the individual Triple Crown races. The best horse racing apps offer a whole host of these on the day of each big race.

Some of the prop bets available are:

  • Winning distance spreads
  • Head-to-head matchups
  • Winning time (over/under)
  • Winning odds (over/under)

Novelty bets relating to horse names (e.g. if three or more horses in the race begin with the same letter, you may see a market like 'Will the winner's name begin with X')

Triple Crown Betting Strategy

Every once in a while a superstar three-year-old comes along that looks capable of winning a Triple Crown.

It may not have been obvious in the qualification races, as was the case with Mage, but he was firmly in command close home in the Kentucky Derby and he appears to harbor genuine Triple Crown hopes heading into the Pimlico leg.

2023 Triple Crown bets on Mage need to be assessed in comparison to the odds that he is likely to go off in each of the two remaining races.

He is an 8-5 favorite for the Preakness Stakes but is likely to trade shorter at Belmont Park should he prove the best of the bunch at Pimlico.

Triple Crown Races

The three races that make up the Triple Crown each provide their own unique test of a Dirt horse.

All Grade 1 contests worth at least $1m, are some of the most prestigious horse races in the sport and only an outstanding thoroughbred can join the list of Triple Crown winners.

The first Triple Crown winner was Sir Barton in 1919 and 13 horses have completed the magical treble in all.

Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of a Triple Crown series and it takes place at Churchill Downs in Louisville on the first or second Saturday in May.

The Derby, which brings to a close the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival, is known as 'The Run for the Roses' as the winning horse is draped in a blanket of roses.

The Derby is the most watched and most attended of not only all Triple Crown events but also any horse racing contest in the United States.

First run in 1875, no horse has run the 12f Kentucky Derby faster than the great Secretariat who set a monster time of 1:59.4 in 1973.

2023 winner Mage became only the third horse to win the Kentucky Derby without having raced as a two-year-old.

Preakness Stakes

Inaugurated in 1873, the Preakness Stakes is named after a colt who won the first Dinner Party Stakes at Pimlico.

The middle leg of the Triple Crown series, the Preakness Stakes is the shortest of the trio of contests at 9.5 furlongs, a full two and a half furlongs shorter than the Belmont Stakes.

2004 winner Smarty Jones holds the record for the biggest winning margin at 11.5 lengths while Hall Of Fame trainer Bob Baffert holds the modern-day record (7) for the most Preakness Stakes wins.

Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes is the oldest of the Triple Crown races and is the race that crowns Triple Crown heroes.

The final leg of the series is usually held on the first or second Saturday in June, five weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three after the Preakness Stakes.

The race, nicknamed 'The Test of the Champion' because it is the longest of the three Triple Crown races, covers a full lap of the vast Belmont Park racetrack, which is the biggest in North America.

As is the case with all three races, Secretariat holds the race record, as well as holding the record for the biggest winning margin, which stands at a ridiculous 31 lengths.

Twenty-three horses missed their chance at a Triple Crown by not winning the Belmont. Eight of these finished second: Pensive (1944), Tim Tam (1958), Forward Pass (1968), Majestic Prince (1969), Sunday Silence (1989), Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), and Smarty Jones (2004).

History of the Triple Crown

The Triple Crown Trophy, commissioned in 1950, is awarded to the horse that wins all three of the Grade 1 horse races in the series.

13 horses have been crowned Triple Crown winner, beginning with Sir Barton in 1919 and most recently Justify in 2018. As of 2023, American Pharoah and Justify are the only living Triple Crown winners and the former is the only horse to have also won the Breeders' Cup Classic in the same year, a feat now known as the Grand Slam.

Each Triple Crown race is open to both Colts and fillies. Although fillies have won each of the individual Triple Crown races, none has won the Triple Crown itself. Geldings have won each of the individual races, but like fillies, no gelding has ever won the Triple Crown. The closest was Funny Cide, who won the Derby and the Preakness in 2003.

The mighty Secretariat holds the stakes record time for each of the three races. His time of 2:24 for 12f in the 1973 Belmont Stakes also set a world record that still stands.

Bob Baffert became the second trainer to win the Triple Crown more than once, training American Pharoah and Justify.

Triple Crown Winners

In all, 13 horses have been crowned a Triple Crown winner, the most recent being Justify who was sent off favorite for every one of his six career starts, all of which he won for trainer Bob Baffert.

American Pharoah ended a 37-year wait for a Triple Crown winner when he landed the three Triple Crown events in 2015.

It is 50 years since the legendary Secretariat broke all three track records en route to cementing his place in horse racing folklore.

Gallant Fox is the only Triple Crown winner to sire another U.S. Triple Crown winner, Omaha.

Jockey Julie Krone became the first (and currently only) woman to win a Triple Crown race when she won the 1993 Belmont Stakes aboard Colonial Affair.

Triple Crown Records

No triple Crown race has been won in a quicker time than Secretariat posted in his utterly dominant 1973 campaign, indeed his 31-length in the Belmont Stakes not only remains a record, it is unlikely to ever be surpassed.

Jim Fitzsimmons and Bob Baffert are the only two trainers to have two horses win the Triple Crown, with Fitzsimmons training the sire/son combination of 1930 winner Gallant Fox and 1935 winner Omaha and Baffert training 2015 winner American Pharoah and 2018 winner Justify.

At 18, Steve Cauthen became the youngest jockey to win the Triple Crown, riding Affirmed in 1978. The opposite end of the scale, 52-year-old Mike Smith became the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown, riding Justify in 2018.

Triple Crown Odds FAQ


Gavin Beech is a writer and contributor for BetKentucky.com and has worked in the betting industry for almost 20 years. Gavin is an experienced horse racing journalist, sports betting content writer and tipster. He has worked for some of the biggest online operators around, notably MailOnline and the Racing Post, where he is a regular on the Live Tipster slot.

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