Your Questions About Horse Racing Triple Crown

Lisa asks…

Calculating odds of multiple events?

e.g. Take the Triple Crown of horse racing, suppose each race has a different winner and the odds against each were 10 to 1.

Now if a single person were to pick the right horse in each race, how would the odds of this be calculated?

So the more events in the calculation, the worse the odds become?

Denny answers:

Odds are cumbersome to compute directly, so convert to probabilities:

The odds against a person picking the winning horse in one race is 10 to 1. This is the same as saying the probability that the person picks the winner is 1/(10+1) = 1/11.

Assuming picking the winner in each of the 3 races is an event independent of the others, then the probability of picking all 3 winners is (1/11)*(1/11)*(1/11) = 1/1331.

Convert this back to odds against and it’s 1330 to 1.

Another way to look at it, assuming the horses actually pay 10 to 1: Suppose you bet $1 on the first race and win. You get $10 plus keep your $1, for a total of $11. On the second race, you bet all $11 (parlaying your bet) and win. You get 10 times $11, or $110, plus you keep your $11, for a total of $121. On the third race, you bet $121 and win. You get $1210 in winnings plus your $121 for a total of $1331. So overall, you won $1330 plus kept your $1 for a 1330 to 1 payout.

Yes, the more events, the worse (or larger or ‘longer’) the odds become. The larger the odds, the less likely the event will be (and the smaller it’s probability). And it’s much less likely that I’ll be able to pick the winning horse for 3 races in a row than pick it for just a single race.

William asks…

Big Brown 2008 Triple Crown Races?

This is the weekest triple crown field that I have ever seen. Just plain terrible.
Big Brown may win but he has not beaten anyone at all.

The reason why many horses have failed to win all 3 is because of the competition. They were tested in the Derby and Preakness by good horses.
They had to use their energy to win.
Hell Sham who came in second to Secritariat also broke the world record in the Derby.

Big “over rated’ Brown

Denny answers:

Yes this is a weaker field than usual. But ive seen weaker. I mean the year war emblem and funny cide won the first two legs of the triple crown, come on these two were not great horses. If big brown beats casino drive he will have earned the triple crown in my eyes. And to all his retractors after that he will face the defending horse of the year Curlin in the classic. If he beats curlin, no one can say anything about Big Brown being over rated ever again.

Mandy asks…

Horse racing conspiracy?

Did Babaro have an edge? With all of the hoopla of the triple crown did someone plan to open Babaros gate 1 second early for the race? If you remember before the race even started Babaro bolted out of his closed gate. Did that affect his leg? Did it backfire. Does anyone have an opinion?

Denny answers:

I don’t think there was any conspiracy at the Preakness but those gates can be tampered with and I know of a particular incident at a lower class track many years ago.

It takes a person with a very well trained eye to even notice it but my uncle had a fellow racetracker with a very keen eye that said he saw the gate of the winner open a split second before the other horses gates opened and that horse won as he was supposed to in a 5 furlong sprint.
My uncles horse(the favorite who had won 5 in a row) finished 2nd.
Another trainers horse with his own travelling jockey who always rode for him was knocked around by others after they couldn’t buy him off like they had tried to.He finished 4th but everyone else heard about the bribe that time.

The guy with the keen eye could look at a race and tell you almost exactly what had happend and how every horse in the race had performed.
My uncle used to ask him to watch his races for him in case he didn’t see everthing himself.

Back to the gate.

They use strong magnets to keep them closed and the starter releases the current when he starts the race.

You can place a very thin piece of paper between these magnets on any particular gate and when the current is released that gate can open a split second faster than the others.It can’t be blatantly obvious or everyone would see it and it would make more of a difference in a short race.

This would require some advance practice with the gate and the starter but that can and has been done in the morning.
I am not an expert in exactly how they do this but I was around enough to hear a lot of things.
I can still remember the names of the key horses and the crook who rode my uncles horse and the guy with the keen eye.
They are all dead now but they were exciting times when I was young.

I don’t think the magnet trick is a common occurence but I do know that there are many crooked things that happen at All levels of racing but it is more common at the smaller tracks.

A horse can break through the gate and it is fairly commom.

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