We are in the midst of Thoroughbred Triple Crown season. Ever wonder why there are so many more horses in the big 3 races than there used to be? The answer may be easy money.
I've done a bit of research, trying to determine what it cost to enter a horse in the 3 races. For the sport of kings it's a surprisingly cheap way to inflate your ego. Some numbers are unavailable so we shall consider the horse related items such as purchase price, housing, training, food, vets, ferriers and transportation as sunk costs, a non-number, much like having a pet. Let's also skip over the ethical and moral issues involved.
First, you need to tell the tracks you're coming (nominate your horse). The nomination fee for all 3 races is $600 if you sign up early. Wait until after March 28th and the price goes to $200,000. $600 to say your horse is nominated for the Derby buys a life time of bragging rights.
Once nominated and after your horse qualifies, Churchill Downs charges a $25,000 entry fee and $25,000 starting fee for the Derby. The fees for the Preakness and Belmont are an additional $10,000 and $10,000 each. Jockeys who finish 4-last are guaranteed $500. Those on the podium are paid handsomely. The winning trainer pockets 5% of the winnings.
For $90,000 your photo and life's story appears in tens of thousands of official race day programs. If all publicity is good publicity then this is comes cheap. Entry also offers a chance to win lots of money.
So why do the rich enter? The swag.
"each owner entering a horse will get a big gift pack with jackets, hats, shirts, pins, and probably a bunch of other stuff related to the local area. At the Derby they also get free use of a car with a big Derby sign on the side. They will also get invited to tons of parties and other schmooze fests plus get the really good third floor clubhouse seats for the Derby."
$51,000 is perhaps cheaper than buying tickets through Stub Master.