As if it weren't apparent by the wave of media attention and sponsorships, the Belmont Stakes is a major deal from a monetary standpoint.
Per TheTripleCrown.com, the race is a $1.5 million event.
It's not a winner take all, but the horse that finishes first will obviously take the biggest piece of the pie.
The winner gets $800,000, $280,000 goes to the second-place finisher, and $150,000 goes to the third-place finisher.
For bettors, the win, place and show are all most anyone cares about. However, as it pertains to payouts, the horses who finish first through eighth will earn cash for their owners.
Another $100,000 goes to the fourth-place finisher, $60,000 will be awarded to the fifth-place finisher, $45,000 to the sixth-place finisher, $35,000 to the seventh-place finisher and finally $30,000 to the eighth-place finisher.
That's a lot of cash flowing around.
Who's going to win the top prize? Obviously, everyone has his eyes on California Chrome, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes champion.
He's on the cusp of becoming the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 when Affirmed accomplished the feat. Here's a look at the odds, per BelmontStakes.com.
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Can anything stop California Chrome from making history? Let's examine two potential factors.
Hoping California Chrome Falls Off?
The best hopes for the field are seemingly hinging upon California Chrome underperforming on the biggest stage. Trainer of Wicked Strong, Jimmy Jerkens said as much, per Ed McNamara on Newsday.com.
"Obviously, California Chrome is going to have to have a bad day. The Triple Crown is a hard grind, especially for the modern-day horse. So it'll take a combination of things to beat him, that's for sure."
It's not impossible to think that California Chrome could fall victim to fatigue. Along with winning performances at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, the horse has also been the object of a media blitz since he became a serious threat to win the Triple Crown.
That could all weigh in the favor of the field to level things out on Saturday. If it seems like California Chrome is a superhorse, well, that's because he is.
Billy Turner, the famed trainer of one of the last Triple Crown winners (Seattle Slew, 1977), said this about the horse, per McNamara: "Nothing excites him, and he won't get caught up in a speed duel."
For the past month, the horse has surely excited fans.
Anyone hoping for a wet or muddy track to slow California Chrome isn't likely to get his wish. Per Weather.com, there is zero chance of rain.
That said, the high is 84 degrees. How much the temperature has dropped at race time could determine how much of a factor the heat plays. A blazing hot day could accentuate the potential fatigue factor.
That might open the door for one of the fresher horses that haven't run in both the Derby and the Preakness.
All things considered equal, it's going to be tough to keep California Chrome from racing into the record books.
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