Animal Kingdom walked into Churchill Downs a long-shot, but enters the Preakness Stakes as a favorite with a Derby win under his belt.
With 20-1 odds pre-race, few bettors thought Animal Kingdom would beat horses like Dialed In, the favorite. Following every Kentucky Derby, fans and bettors speculate whether the winner can win the Preakness and Belmont for the Triple Crown. Horse racing fans and bettors are wondering if Animal Kingdom can become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed made his run in 1978.
In fact, three horses won the Triple Crown in the 1970s. Now, the odds of a Triple Crown winner have become smaller than the jockeys mounting the horses.
Chances are Animal Kingdom will not win the Triple Crown.
He was not a favorite coming into the Kentucky Derby, and regardless of his odds entering the Preakness, Animal Kingdom is the same horse he was three weeks ago.
The Derby field was crowded this year and there was no super-horse—and if there was, Animal Kingdom was not it, having raced only four times in his short career.
There is some hope for Animal Kingdom to win the Triple Crown. In the Derby, he finished strong and appeared to have enough endurance to run with any other horse in the field. Just as Animal Kingdom is not a super-horse, neither are any of the other horses in this year's field.
No horse lost at Churchill Downs purely because of luck, and no horse is waiting in Pimlico to avenge an unwarranted loss.
Animal Kingdom is surely one of the best horses out there right now, but there are enough equally talented horses that it will be difficult for him to win two races in a row. A Triple Crown bet is not smart money this year.
The odds that he will win the Triple Crown are the same as the odds he would win the Derby–unlikely. And yet, he already has defied them once.
Odds of Animal Kingdom Winning Triple Crown: 20-1