view counter
 
view counter
 
 

California Chrome Takes Second Jewel

Published: May 17, 2014 9:05 pm ET

No Comments | Jump to Comments

California Chrome continued on his quest for a Triple Crown sweep Saturday at Pimlico Race Course, scoring a dominating victory in the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1) to the enthusiastic approval of a record crowd of 123,469.

Two weeks after capturing the Kentucky Derby (G1) by 1-3/4 lengths, the California-bred three-year-old colt received yet another heads-up ride from jockey Victor Espinoza on his way to a 1-1/2 length triumph over Ride On Curlin in the 139th running of the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

Trained by 77-year-old Art Sherman, California Chrome is eligible to become Thoroughbred racing’s 12th Triple Crown champion in the 146th running of the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) June 7 at Belmont Park. The modestly bred California-bred colt will seek to join the company of Triple Crown champions Affirmed (1978), Seattle Slew (1977), Secretariat (1973), Citation (1948), Assault (1946), Count Fleet (1943), Whirlaway (1941), War Admiral (1937), Omaha (1935), Gallant Fox (1930) and Sir Barton (1919).

California Chrome, a strong 1-2 favourite in a field of 10, broke alertly and gained stalking position behind early pacesetter Pablo Del Monte. After Ria Antonia, the lone filly in the field, made an early move to challenge the pacesetter heading into the first turn, California Chrome settled in third around the turn and on the backstretch. Social Inclusion, the 5-1 second betting choice ridden by Luis Contreras, made a move outside California Chrome heading into the far turn, prompting Espinoza to ask his horse for some run. The favourite swept past the pacesetter on the turn into the homestretch, engaged to his outside by Social Inclusion, and spurted away in early stretch, never to be challenged again.

California Chrome crossed the finish line clear of Ride On Curlin, who rallied from far back under Joel Rosario to finish second, 6-1/2 lengths clear of Social Inclusion. The running time of 1:54.84 for the 1-3/16 miles of the Maryland Jockey Club’s signature race was the fastest since Big Brown was timed in 1:54.80 in 2008.

“He broke great and had a perfect trip," said Sherman. "I was so happy when I saw where he was able to set him. Right now he’s really on his toes and doing good. He’s a remarkable horse to come back in two weeks and win. I know he’s not the only horse that ever did that, but it’s tough on a horse to come back in two weeks. I appreciate everyone involved in my team. They did a hell of a job. Both my sons are here. It’s very emotional."

The Preakness highlighted a 13-race program with nine stakes, including four graded stakes, generating an all-sources handle of $83,786,363, including the $53,655,673 wagered on the Middle Jewel.

The Preakness Day Celebration included performances by Grammy Award winner Lorde and hip-hop icon Nas in the infield.

“It was another fantastic day with the record attendance under ideal conditions,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “We pride ourselves in our hospitality and extend an invitation to Sherman Racing to stay here at Pimlico for as long as they want as the team prepares California Chrome to the Belmont Stakes and a date with destiny.”

(Preakness)


view counter
 
 
 

© 2020 Standardbred Canada. All rights reserved. Use of this site signifies your agreement and compliance with the legal disclaimer and privacy policy.

Firefox 3 Best with IE 7 Built with Drupal