Breaking Down the Turf Triple Crown: European Runners Expected

March 3rd, 2019

For the first time, the thoroughbred racing industry will run the Turf Triple Crown. Apprised of 3 turf races in each of the two 3-year-old divisions, male and female, the Turf Triple Crown should be an immediate success. What makes the Turf Triple Crown so appealing is that horseplayers can expect the very best 3-year-olds from all over the world to head to the Turf Trinity and the Turf Tiara.

Check out more information on thoroughbred racing's newest Triple Crown series!

Turf Triple Crown:  A Chance for the Best Sophomore Turf Stars to Show Their Stuff

The New York Racing Association runs the Turf Triple Crown. Because it's an NYRA series of races, they'll take place at New York's two top tracks:  Belmont Park and Saratoga. Collectively, the prize money for both the Turf Trinity and the Turf Tiara is $5.25 million. That should attract plenty of talented 3-year-old turf stars from North America, Europe, and Asia.

The races for both the Turf Trinity and the Turf Tiara take place after the Triple Crown and the Triple Tiara. That allows horseplayers to pay attention to both the Triple Crown on dirt and the Triple Crown on turf.

Turf Trinity

The Turf Trinity's comprised of 3 races. The first is the $1 million Belmont Derby invitational at 1 1/4 miles. Big Sandy ran the Belmont Derby for the first time in 1929. Then called the Jamaica Handicap, it's become one of the top turf races for 3-year-olds in the world.

The other two races in the Turf Trinity are new. The $1 million Saratoga Derby is at 1 3/16 miles. 3-year-old turfers will also run for a $1 million purse in the 1 1/2 miles Jockey Club Derby. The Turf Trinity mirrors the race distances that make up the Triple Crown: the Kentucky Derby at 1 1/4 miles, the Preakness Stakes at 1 3/16 miles, and the Belmont Stakes at 1 1/2 miles.

Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational - July 6

Grade 1 Saratoga Derby - August 2

Grade 1 Jockey Club Derby - September 7

Catholic Boy won the Belmont Derby Invitational last year while Analyze It finished second. Catholic Boy might have stayed on turf if he could have run in the Turf Trinity. Instead, he won the Travers Stakes on dirt. This year, Line of David, who took home the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, should most definitely show up for the Turf Trinity.

Trained by Charles Appleby for Godolphin, if Line of David wins the UAE Derby, he could run in the Kentucky Derby. Unless he wins the Run for the Roses, Godolphin will put him on the shelf until the Belmont Derby Invitational.

Trainer Aidan O'Brien should point at least a couple of 3-year-old stars to the Turf Trinity. 3-year-old only grass races aren't popular in Europe, meaning the Turf Trinity will be a chance for O'Brien and the owners he works with to take down a combined $3 million in purse money with their best grass sophomore runners galloping against their own age.

Turf Tiara

Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational - July 6

Saratoga Oaks - August 2

Jockey Club Oaks - September 7

Athena won the Belmont Oaks Invitational last year. She actually ran very well in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, finishing fifth behind older horses like Sistercharlie, Wild Illusion, and A Raving Beauty. Those 3 monster turf stars flattered the fifth place finish.

She's not a 3-year-old this year, but we know Aidan will have another 3-year-old filly star. It could be Just Wonderful, who finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Chad Brown trained Newspaperofrecord won the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf. Check out the race!

The Turf Tiara takes place at Belmont and Saratoga. So, we know Chad's pointing Newspaperofrecord to the Turf Tiara. She dominated the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf. It should be much more difficult once the European horsemen send their 3-year-old fillies to the U.S. Newspaperofrecord should have improved as well.

It's early in the thoroughbred racing season, but it's never to early to point to races we horseplayers can peg as profitable ventures. Every race in both the Turf Trinity and Turf Tiara should set up for profit. We most definitely must keep those races in mind as we continue through winter and spring.