The chestnut colt is an unlikely success story. Bred from an $8,000 mare to a $2,500 stallion, California Chrome's victory at Preakness extended his winning streak to six races and, more importantly, put him in contention for the historic Triple Crown, an accomplishment that hasn't happened since Affirmed won all three races in 1978.
"Anytime you see an occurrence in sports that hasn't happened in almost 40 years, prices go up significantly, and people are less price-sensitive," said Jesse Lawrence, founder and CEO of TiqIQ.
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In 2013, when no Triple Crown was in contention (because two different horses won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness) the average Belmont ticket price was just $87—a whooping 369 percent lower than this year's average. In 2012, when "I'll Have Another" won the first two legs of the Triple Crown, the average price for Belmont increased more than 20 percent from the year prior.
"If not for the Triple Crown, the Belmont is a regional horse race," Lawrence said.