A new year has started meaning millions of people have made New Year resolutions to try something different in 2023. Have you ever considered going to a major horse racing festival and experiencing the excitement of a race weekend? There is much more to a festival than downloading the best betting apps for horse racing and hoping you win some money.
Many people who frequent the racetrack do not place a bet; they are there to soak up the incredible atmosphere, get dressed up to the nines, and marvel at the fantastic horses on display.
North America has dozens of horse racing meets throughout the calendar year. However, three of those festivals stand out from the crowd, not least because they make up the coveted Triple Crown of races. The Kentucky Derby, The Preakness Stakes, and The Belmont Stakes are the trio of horse racing festivals you must experience at least once in your lifetime. Why not start in 2023?
Only three horses have become Triple Crown champions, that is, triumph at each of the aforementioned meetings. Seattle Slew, a famous horse outside of horse racing circles, achieved the impressive goal in 1977. Since 1978, only two horses have won the Triple Crown: American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018.
The Kentucky Derby
The Kentucky Derby always takes place on the first Saturday in May and is the crown jewel of the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. First held in 1875 and every year since without interruption, the Kentucky Derby is often billed as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sport” because that is how long the thrilling race takes. Some call the Kentucky Derby “The Run for the Roses” because a lush blanket of 554 red roses is awarded to the winner.
The racing aside, the Kentucky Derby is best known for the often extravagant fashions of female spectators. Hats, in particular, grab the attention at the Kentucky Derby. They range from subtle and stylish to eccentric show-stopper pieces. Churchill Downs is packed to the rafters with fashionistas throughout the festival, especially on Debry day.
Tickets for the Kentucky Derby start at around $100, but celebrities often purchase lavish corporate hospitality packages that come at a much higher premium.
The Preakness Stakes
The Preakness Stakes takes place o the third Saturday in May, which is also Armed Forces Day. Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, is where the race happens. This exciting race first ran in 1873, two years before the Kentucky Derby.
The Preakness Stakes has a party atmosphere, especially in the infield, which is general admission. InfieldFest takes place in the infield and sees performances from various musical acts.
Attendances above 100,000 are commonplace, with most racegoers dressing up in cocktail dresses, suits, and, of course, extravagant hats. The Preakness Stakes is a spectacle to behold.
The Belmont Stakes
You need to head to Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, on the first or second Saturday in June (June 11 in 2023) if you want to sample the enjoyment the Belmont Stakes brings. The Belmont Stakes traditionally take place five weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes.
Millions of people tune into the television broadcast of the Belmont Stakes, but the meeting is best experienced at the racecourse. A strict dress code encourages racegoers to wear their best attire. No jeans are allowed on weekends, and shorts are not permitted at any time. As with the other two Triple Crown races, the focus tends to be on the lavish hats and jaw-dropping fashion sported by the female attendees.