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California Chrome is fighting for the elusive Triple Crown

By now, the big news in the horse and betting world is California Chrome and his latest big win in the second jewel of the Triple Crown. For some time now and especially the last two weeks, Chrome has been the focus of nonstop discussion, speculation and anticipation. On Saturday, May 17, California Chrome was the target of the entire field running the Preakness. He conquered fresh, rested horses to bring home the second leg of the Triple Crown for owners Steven Coburn and Perry Martin after his exciting run at Pimlico Race Course in Maryland.

California Chrome strikes a pose in preparation for the 139th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course
California Chrome strikes a pose in preparation for the 139th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course
Rob Carr/Getty Images
California Chrome now has Derby and Preakness wins
Rob Carr/Getty Images

No doubt, Chrome delivered in a big way. Those folks who feel the awe and thrill of fine horses in a terrific race were treated to power, speed, strategy and heart during this year’s Preakness. Chrome went in to do a job and he convincingly performed.

His connections hope for Chrome to once again show his strength and stamina in three weeks. Again there will be the spoilers – those horses trained for the Belmont’s distance and rested accordingly. One can bet they’re ready to run. Maybe a longshot, or a bit of a mystery horse that is waiting in the background, will spring into action. One thing is for sure, however, the countless people following horse racing and even those only slightly paying attention to the goings-on in the horse world, are ready and hoping for a Triple Crown winner. It has been a long time, since 1978, when Affirmed brought home the mighty crown.

Victor Espinoza was again aboard Chrome. The pair ran close to the leaders and began a move on the far turn. Then Chrome and Espinoza made the front, and never looked back. Their final time for 1 3/16 miles was 1:54.84 on a track that was deemed fast.

California Chrome ran as the 1-2 favorite and paid $3, $3, and $2.40 across the board.

He put away some really fine competitors on Preakness Saturday and it is certain he will meet them again during his racing career. On the 17th, Ride On Curlin finished in second place after rallying from his ninth place position, paying $5.60 and $3.80. Social Inclusion brought home third place, paying $3.40 – he was fractious before the race and could not keep up with Chrome in the stretch run. The Exacta paid $18.20 and the Trifecta paid $76.

Trainer Art Sherman usually takes it easy on his horses and running them within two weeks is not the normal routine. Says Sherman

To me, this race was even a little tougher knowing that I'm coming back in a little shorter distance than I normally ever run them, and the time I give them to rest between races. I was a little concerned about that, but he has big heart this horse—big.

It's quite a thrill. I knew we had to run harder to win this race. He's a real racehorse, and I hope a mile and a half is up his alley, too.

Coburn attended the race and was both excited and emotional when California Chrome crossed the finish line. He believes in the horse and was thrilled. As reported later by the Blood Horse, he said, “I don't know how to explain how I feel within my heart and soul. It's hard for me because I get very emotional about it. I honestly believe this horse is America's horse. He's giving everybody that little light bulb, and when it clicks on, you know what? We can do this.”

Ten horses are on record to run in the final race for the Triple Crown on June 7. Among the hopefuls in the $1.5 million Belmont are Commanding Curve, Commissioner, Danza, Intense Holiday, Samraat, Tonalist and Wicked Strong.

The public is excited this year and we wish the horses a safe trip!

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