The event comes as the sport of kings has not received the royal treatment as of late.
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The problem with horse racing, though, isn't the big three Triple Crown races—the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes—it's generating interest all season long. Capturing the imaginations of young potential fans, exposing part-time fans to the drama of a Triple Crown race, and bringing in new revenue streams like high-profile sponsors all carry the hope of renewed interest in the sport.
People inside the industry have mastered the art of anticipation.
The Triple Crown races themselves last less than a total of seven minutes. The buildup to big races is pumped and pumped until it's just about to burst; deep story lines are dug up and examined from every angle.
Daily attendance at horse tracks around the country is in an overall decline but attendance at the Crown races are actually ringing in records.
"We haven't been profitable in years but will be this year. This will be one of the most profitable Belmonts ever," Christopher Key, CEO of the New York Racing Association, which owns Belmont, Saratoga and Aqueduct race tracks, told CNBC.
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At this year's Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs recorded its second-highest attendance ever at 164,906 while 15.3 million people watched on NBC, a number that was down 6 percent from 2013's TV audience. (NBC is owned by Comcast, the parent company of CNBC)
At Pimlico Race Course two weeks later, a record crowd of 123,469 watched California Chrome claim victory in the Preakness Stakes with another 9.6 million watching on television.
Big Brown was the last horse to go for the Triple Crown. When he finished 10th at the Belmont in 2008, it was before a crowd of 94,476 while another 13 million watched on ABC. When Smarty Jones tried for the crown in 2004, a still-record crowd of 120,319 fans attended.
When a Triple Crown contender is running, the Belmont averages 16 million television viewers compared to an average of 7 million during years without one. NBC has extended its Kentucky Derby deal for 10 years through 2025 but has not signed up to renew Preakness and Belmont deals yet. Would a California Chrome victory change that?