The Best Horse Betting Weekend Ever
Undeniably the best horse racing weekend throughout the year has to be on those occasions when one of the Triple Crown races in the United States coincides with one of the Classic horse races in the United Kingdom – literally a united front somehow. One of these rare weekend occasions was the first weekend in June 2010 when horse race betting fans were treated to the 2010 Belmont Stakes, the final leg of the US Triple Crown; and the Epsom Derby in England – with both of them being betting highlights in horse racing history!
The Belmont Stakes and a Little Flashback to 2010
As it is some old fancy tradition the Belmont Stakes is the final leg to be pulled off of the Triple Crown, nevertheless, in 2010 there was a particularly fair chance that there wouldn’t have been an outright Triple Crown winner as none of the horses running at the Belmont Park race track, just outside of New York City on Long Island, had competed in one of the two previous events; Ice Box, Make Music For Me and Stately Victor having appeared at the Kentucky Derby and First Dude was a runner in the Preakness Stakes. Ice Box and First Dude managed to finish as runners up in their respective races with Ice Box having the shorter odds, being ridden again by Jose Lezanco in New York, who rode it before at for the Kentucky Derby. He was the pre-race favorite at +250, although that was bound to shorten by race day - so as always if you wanted a good piece of the action then it usually pays to get your online bets in early for the best possible prices. First Dude was unsurprisingly the second favorite; he too was ridden by the same rider that steered him to second place in the Preakness Stakes - Dale Romans.
The 2010 Epsom Derby
With Epsom being in the leafy county of Surrey near London whilst Derby is a city in the industrial midlands - you could well be forgiven for being somewhat perplexed as to where exactly this race is run. Being named after the Earl of Derby, who has always been one of the special guests at the original running of this Classic race over 1 mile 4 furlongs as the English say - or 11/2 miles to anyone else and the same distance as the Belmont Stakes, the race is actually held at the Epsom Downs race track. Back in 2010 Jan Vermeer, ridden by Johnny Murtagh, was a horse that only seemed to know one way to finish a race – the only way everyone would wish to finish it actually – by winning it, and thereby, it was by far the pre-race favorite at a somewhat miserly +175. Nonetheless, it would have been a very brave bet to go for a 1,2 3 for trainer Aidan O’Brien, as At First Sight was pretty well out of sight in the pre-race betting at +10,000; but Midas Touch (who was from the same stable as Jan Vermeer) was a better bet at a tempting +700. For UK racing fans in particular, especially those that are a bit of a sentimental category when it comes to horse race sports betting, then no doubt many of them would have had a punt on Rewilding at +900, who was ridden by long-time favorite, but rather aged, Italian jockey Frankie Dettori.
While in the United State and the American English everyone talks of the ground conditions the United Kingdom and the British English call it the ‘going’, either way we’re talking about the state of the race track and whether it was firm or soft or in any other describable condition; as such factors hugely affect the performance of different horses in a race, with some preferring it soft under their hoofs and some others preferring other ground conditions. On this special racing weekend back in 2010 the weather forecast for New York got it right with predicting showers and high temperature. Therefore, the ground was soft, but not soaked, creating fairly humid conditions during the race, while at Epsom the weather was dry and reasonably warm, creating pretty well ideal conditions for a flat race in England.
And the winners were …
In the fair fighting end, having had his odds shortened substantially pre-race, it was Drosselmeyer crossed the ‘home’ base first in the 2010 Belmont Stakes, directly followed by Fly Down and First Dude, while Ice Box finished in a very disappointing 8th position. At the Epsom Oaks in England the winners were announced to be Workface, followed by At First and Rewilding. Whilst the 1st and 3rd horses did well the 2nd placed At First - broke the bookmakers hearts but thrilled the race fans at +10,000! As for Jan Vermeer, he finished in a very disappointing 4th, but at +225 probably saved the sports books a small fortune.