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Tommy Roe serenades California Chrome in time for Triple Crown bid

According to his 1962 signature hit “Sheila,” Tommy Roe “never knew a girl like” her. And if his luck holds out this Saturday, he can say he never knew a horse like California Chrome, either—though he’s already out with a song named for and commemorating the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes champion thoroughbred.

Tommy Roe's "California Chrome" cover.
Tommy Roe

Actually, "California Chrome," which Roe co-wrote with his longtime friend Mike Borchetta, is available in a “Pre Race” version. Should he win Saturday’s Belmont Stakes and become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978, a “Post Race” version will be released to iTunes, says Roe.

Veteran music business promotion executive Borchetta goes back to the mid-‘60s with Rowe, and promoted his big hits including “Sweet Pea,” “Hooray for Hazel” and “Dizzy."

“I’ve always been a big thoroughbred race fan,” says Roe. “Mike and I used to own horses together—and won a few races. It was his idea to write the song, and he started sending me info on the horse. I really got into it and put the song together in a few days.”

“So we're having some fun and pulling for California Chrome to win so we can release the ‘Post Race’ version about this history-making event,” he adds.

Roe’s last single was “Memphis Me,” also the titletrack of his 2013 album.

“California Chrome” relates the near-fairy tale of how the horse’s owners Perry Martin, and Steve Coburn came virtually out of nowhere in the racing world, put a team together as DAP Racing—and acronym for "Dumb Ass Partners"--and beat the odds in scoring with a relatively unheralded horse.

“Our fingers are crossed, and our bets are down for ‘California Chrome,’” says Roe.

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