Even without the Triple Crown on the line, today is still a big one for thoroughbred race fans.
Exaggerator, who out raced rival and previously undefeated Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist in Baltimore's muddy Preakness Stakes last month, is the favorite to win the Belmont Stakes later today. But the wide open field -- Nyquist's owners pulled the pony because it had been dealing with a fever and elevated white blood count -- has opened up the betting.
A new horse in the mix: The latest betting reports are that Suddenbreakingnews is getting lots of attention from the oddsmakers. The colt came in fifth in Louisville and, as I type, is at 5-1 odds. That's an improved standing in gamblers' eyes since opening up this morning when at 7-1.
Exaggerator is still the favorite at 6-5, with more than $1.3 million bet on Kent Desourmeux's ride so far. That's almost a third of the total $3.6 million bets, again so far, placed.
If you're inclined to drop a few dollars on the race, here's the complete 13-horse race field and, at blog posting time, the odds:
1. Governor Malibu: 21-12. Destin: 12-13. Cherry Wine: 8-14. Suddenbreakingnews: 5-15. Stradivari: 9-16. Gettysburg: 46-17. Seeking the Soul: 52-18. Forever d'Oro: 60-19. Trojan Nation: 66-110. Lani: 10-111. Exaggerator: 6-512. Brody's Cause: 22-113. Creator: 15-1
RACE UPDATE: Creator won the 148th Belmont Stakes in a photo finish, literally nosing out Destin. If you bet on the 15-to-1 shot, your winning ticket paid 34.80.
More complex track bets were more rewarding. A $2 Exacta bet paid $269. A $1 Trifecta ticket returned $1,375.50. And the payout for a winning $1 Superfecta bet was $13,967.50.
After the Derby, I suggested bettors always go with the favorite. Ignore my track tips. That betting methodology didn't work in either the Preakness or today's Belmont.
Good betting luck means a tax bill: If you do bet and win, on this sporting event or the growing Powerball ($141 million up for grabs in tonight's drawing) and Mega Millions ($293 million waiting to be won on Tuesday, June 14) lotteries, remember that part of your winnings will go to Uncle Sam.
Let's say it all together now. Gambling winnings are taxable income.
The infographic from CommunityTax, a tax resolution and preparation company, illustrates which records gamblers should retain for games such as keno, slots, racing and the lottery.
In addition, the graphic shows which forms to file with the Internal Revenue Service, when gaming providers are obligated to supply a Form W2-G and when to take a deduction for gambling losses.
You also can read more about the IRS' interest in your betting in the latest Weekly Tax Tip. Some of my betting and taxes insights also are included in the book "The Gambler's Guide To Taxes: How to Keep More of What You Win."
Whatever you wager on, the U.S. Treasury, your state tax collector if you live in one of the 43 jurisdictions that collect some sort of income tax and I wish you good luck.