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Should you bet against California Chrome in the 2014 Belmont Stakes?

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Should you bet against California Chrome in the 2014 Belmont Stakes? California Chrome has been installed as the 3-5 favorite in the 2014 Belmont Stakes, and if he wins the race he will become the first Triple Crown winner in horse racing in 36 years.

Since Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978, there have been 11 horses that won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, but failed to win the Belmont and complete the Triple Crown. Can California Chrome do it?

Should you bet against California Chrome in the 2014 Belmont Stakes?

Nobody knows for sure if California Chrome will win the Belmont on Saturday, June 7, 2014. He's going to be going off at pretty low odds to win the Belmont, so should bettors wager money on him?

It's hard to say, and that's why it's called gambling. The outcome of any horse race is unknown, but there is a way to bet on the 2014 Belmont Stakes where you could win a little money even if California Chrome wins, and possibly win a lot of money if he loses.

In horse racing there is a show bet. When you bet a horse to show, the horse has to finish first, second, or third for you to win. Normally a show bet does not pay a lot of money because all the money wagered in the show pool has to be split among the three horses that finish first, second, and third in a race.

Because California Chrome is going to be such a huge favorite this Saturday to win the 2014 Belmont Stakes, it's possible that there will be a ton of money bet on him to show. Some bettors might be uncertain if California Chrome is going to win the Belmont, but they might think he is a certain lock to finish in the money.

Those people might bet a lot of money on California Chrome to show. Who knows, someone with a lot of money to burn, say Steve Ballmer, might even make a huge bet on California Chrome to show.

No matter how much money is bet on California Chrome to show, the track has to pay out at least 5% for all show bets. So if you bet $2 on California Chrome, or any other horse in the race, to show and he finishes in the money, you will get back at least $2.10.

If someone bet $10 million on California Chrome to show and he finishes in the money, that person would be guaranteed to win at least $500,000. But if California Chrome runs out of the money, that person loses their entire $10 million bet.

Here is where you can possibly make some money. If you bet another horse in the Belmont to show, and California Chrome runs out of the money, as long as your horse finishes in the money (first, second or third) that horse will likely pay a lot of money to show.

In 2008, when Big Brown was heavily favored to win the Triple Crown but ran last in the Belmont at low odds, Da'Tara paid $14.80 to show, and would have paid a lot more but two horses dead-heated for third (the show pool has to be split among four horses due to the dead-heat).

In 2002, when War Emblem failed for the Triple Crown at low odds, Sarava paid $22.40 to show. In 1957, when Carry Back failed for the Triple Crown at low odds, Sherluck paid $18.00 to show, and in 1964 when Kauai King failed at low odds, Buffle paid $13.80 and Advocator paid $13.20 to show.

And those are not particularly high payouts. I've seen races where a heavy favorite ran out of the money and other horses in the race in the money paid over $100 to show. I once bet a horse to show and when the heavy favorite in the race ran out of the money, my horse paid $70.00 to show. When this happens, the horse that wins the race usually pays much less to win than to show.

Even if California Chrome wins or finishes in the money, as long as your horse also finishes in the money you will get back at least a 5% return on your wager.

So if you are unsure whether to bet against California Chrome in the 2014 Belmont, you can try to hedge your wager by betting another horse to show. No matter what happens with California Chrome you can still win your bet as long as your horse runs first, second, or third. And if California Chrome runs out of the money, as long as your horse is in the money, you could cash a pretty big bet this Saturday.

For other ways to make money betting the race see How to get rich betting the Belmont Stakes in 2014. Good luck to all in the 2014 Belmont Stakes.

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