California Chrome

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California Chrome
A reddish-brown racehorse and jockey gallop past the finish line
California Chrome winning the 2014 Preakness Stakes
Sire Lucky Pulpit
Grandsire Pulpit
Dam Love the Chase
Damsire Not For Love
Sex Colt
Foaled February 18, 2011
Country United States
Color Chestnut
Breeder Perry Martin and Steve Coburn
Owner Perry Martin and Steve Coburn
Racing colors Purple, green, donkey on back, green cap[1]
Trainer Art Sherman
Record 13:8–1–0[2]
Earnings US$ $3,532,650[2]
Major wins

Triple Crown classic race wins:

Graded stakes wins:

Stakes wins:

  • California Cup Derby (2014)
  • King Glorious Stakes (2013)
Last updated on August 13, 2014

California Chrome (foaled February 18, 2011) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the 2014 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. Bred in California, the horse is a grandson of Pulpit, with two lines in his pedigree to the California-bred 1955 Kentucky Derby winner Swaps. The chestnut-colored horse was named for his flashy white markings, called "chrome" by horse aficionados. As a foal, he was nicknamed "Junior" in honor of his sire, Lucky Pulpit.

He is owned by Perry Martin from Yuba City, California, and Steve Coburn of Topaz Lake, Nevada, who named their partnership DAP Racing, standing for "Dumb Ass Partners"—a tongue-in-cheek response to a passerby who questioned their wisdom in purchasing California Chrome's dam, Love the Chase. California Chrome's trainers are the father–son team of Art and Alan Sherman. When California Chrome was two years old, he was sent to the Shermans' training stable. The colt's first win came in his second race, but he ran inconsistently until being paired with the jockey Victor Espinoza. The rapport that developed between Espinoza and California Chrome led to a six-win streak that included the San Felipe Stakes and Santa Anita Derby as well as the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. As early as the Santa Anita Derby, dedicated fans—later called "Chromies"—actively supported California Chrome, who was called "the people's horse".

Coming into the Kentucky Derby, California Chrome was the morning line favorite for the May 3 race. Critics downplayed his chances of winning, but these doubts were rebutted when California Chrome took the lead during the homestretch and drew ahead by five lengths, winning by 1 34 lengths after Espinoza eased him for the final 70 yards (64 m) to avoid over-exertion. In his next race, the Preakness, he fended off two strong challengers in the homestretch, won by 1 12 lengths, and was dubbed "America's Horse". He was next shipped to Belmont Park in anticipation of running for the Triple Crown in the 2014 Belmont Stakes, where the horse and everyone around him faced a great deal of press attention due to his populist appeal and large fan base. In the race, California Chrome was stepped on by the horse next to him at the start, tearing some tissue from his right front heel. With no one aware of his injury until the race was over, he appeared to tire in the stretch, finishing fourth in a dead heat with Wicked Strong.

In spite of his loss in the Belmont, California Chrome was ranked the top three-year-old horse in the United States by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), and fifth in the world according to the World's Best Racehorse Rankings. Both chambers of the California State Legislature unanimously passed a resolution recognizing his outstanding performance . After his foot injury healed he was sent to Harris Farms for pasture rest from the rigors of the Triple Crown series. He returned to training in mid-July and is expected to race again in the fall of 2014, aiming for the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Background[edit]

California Chrome was foaled on February 18, 2011,[2] near Coalinga, California, at Harris Farms, the horse breeding division of the Harris Ranch.[3] He is a chestnut with four white stockings[a] and a blaze.[4]

A reddish-brown horse sticking his head and neck out of a stall
California Chrome in his stall at Pimlico Race Course, May 2014

As a foal, he was given the nickname "Junior" by the Martins[5] because of his resemblance to his sire, Lucky Pulpit.[6][7] Lucky Pulpit won three races, placed in several graded stakes races, and hit the board in 13 of his 22 starts.[8] However, a viral respiratory infection damaged his breathing and limited him to racing over short distances.[9] California Chrome's dam is Love the Chase, and he was her first foal.[10] She was purchased for $30,000 as a two-year-old by an agent for a horse ownership group called the Blinkers On Racing Stable.[11] As a two- and three-year-old filly, she was nervous and often panicked in the saddling paddock, in effect losing races before she ever got to the starting gate.[5] She ran six times and won on her fourth try in a February 2009 maiden claiming race at Golden Gate Fields. After her win, Steve Coburn and Perry Martin became her owners,[12] ran her two more times, then retired her later that year.[11][12] Martin and Coburn hoped she would become a good broodmare,[10] as she had a promising pedigree. When she retired, it was discovered that she had raced with a breathing problem—an entrapped epiglottis that restricted her air intake,[5] but which could be corrected with surgery.[13] As of 2014, she has given birth to three foals. The other two, both fillies, are full sisters to California Chrome.[14] After California Chrome became a Kentucky Derby contender, Martin and Coburn turned down an offer of $2.1 million for Love the Chase.[11]

Ownership[edit]

Main article: DAP Racing
A middle-aged man and woman standing in front of some silver trophies with other people in the background
Steve and Carolyn Coburn (center) at the trophy presentation for the 2014 Preakness Stakes

California Chrome was bred and is owned by Perry Martin of Yuba City, California, and Steve Coburn of Topaz Lake, Nevada.[2] Their wives, Denise Martin and Carolyn Coburn, are closely involved with the partnership,[10] though they are not listed as owners on official records kept by Equibase.[2] Perry Martin owns a 70% share in the horse and is the managing owner.[15] Originally, the two couples each owned a five percent share in Love the Chase through membership in the Blinkers On Racing Stable.[10][12] When Blinkers On Racing Stable dissolved the Love the Chase syndicate, both the Coburns and the Martins wanted to buy the filly, so they formed a partnership[3] and paid $8,000 for her.[11] A casual observer, knowing Love the Chase's modest race record, remarked that only a "dumb ass" would buy her, so Coburn and Martin named their racing operation DAP Racing, which stands for "Dumb Ass Partners".[16] They created a caricature of a buck-toothed donkey to adorn the back of their racing silks,[3] and put the initials "DAP" on California Chrome's blinker hood and the left front of the jockey's silks.[17]

The Martins and the Coburns have in common a fondness for California Chrome,[18] but otherwise have very different personalities and backgrounds.[5] The Martins seldom talk to the press.[19] Melissa Hoppert of The New York Times described them as the "quiet thinkers," noting that Perry Martin planned the mating of Lucky Pulpit to Love the Chase, mapped out a "Road to the Derby" racing plan for California Chrome, and promoted use of a nasal strip for the horse's races. By contrast, Hoppert characterized the more outgoing Coburns as the "public relations arm" of the partnership.[20]

"This horse has given everybody else out there the incentive to say, 'you know what? We can do it too' ... we just hope that this horse is letting America know that the little guy can win."

—Steve Coburn, co-owner, May 17, 2014, following the Preakness Stakes[21]

The Martins, from Chicago, shared an interest in horse racing. They moved to California in 1987, where Perry Martin was employed as a metallurgist by the Air Force and Denise briefly job shadowed a racehorse trainer in the Sacramento area.[19] Today they own and operate Martin Testing Laboratories (MTL),[22] which tests high-reliability items such as automobile airbags and medical equipment.[23]

Steve Coburn, characterized by the media as "loquacious",[24][25] describes himself and his wife Carolyn as "just everyday people".[15][18] He is a press operator for a company that makes magnetic strips.[16] Carolyn Coburn retired in March 2014 from a career working in payroll in the health care industry.[18] Carolyn introduced Steve to horse racing, and when he was looking for a tax write-off, she encouraged him to buy into a racing syndicate instead of purchasing a small airplane.[14][26]

Early years[edit]

Harris Farms, where California Chrome was bred and raised, had previously nurtured champion racehorses such as Tiznow, a two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner.[27] Love the Chase was bred to a stallion named Redattore in 2009, but failed to conceive. She could not go back to him for rebreeding because he had been sent to Brazil.[28] She was bred to Lucky Pulpit in 2010. CNN reported that the stud fee for the breeding was $2,000.[29][b] Steve Coburn said he had a dream not long before California Chrome's birth that the foal would be a colt with four white feet and a blaze.[32] California Chrome was relatively large for a newborn horse, weighing 137 pounds (62 kg), and active, "running circles around Momma" within two hours of birth.[33] Love the Chase suffered a uterine laceration while foaling,[34] and was placed on an IV due to internal bleeding.[35] The mare and foal were stall-bound together for over a month.[34] She was kept on a catheter that administered anti-bleeding medication, and the farm staff checked her two to three times a day. Because people gave the colt extra attention and affection when they cared for his dam,[36] he imprinted on humans as well as his mother.[34] As a result, California Chrome became very people-focused, a trait that has served him well in race training.[34] California Chrome lived at Harris Farms from birth until he was shipped to Art Sherman's training barn at age two.[18]

The Martins and Coburns chose California Chrome's official name in 2013 at Brewsters Bar & Grill in Galt, California, a town halfway between their two homes. Each of the four wrote a potential name on pieces of paper and asked a waitress to draw them out of Coburn's cowboy hat. They submitted the names to The Jockey Club ranked in the order drawn. California Chrome, Coburn's choice, was first drawn, and the registry accepted the name.[37] The word "chrome" comes from slang for a horse with flashy white markings.[4] The colt was started under saddle by Harris Farms' trainer Per Antonsen, who described him as a "smart horse" who was "really nice to work with".[38][39]

Sherman Training Stables[edit]

Main article: Art Sherman

Perry Martin considered California Chrome a Derby contender even before the colt raced.[40] He asked Steve Sherman, who had trained horses for Martin at Golden Gate Fields, to recommend a trainer based in the highly competitive southern California area. Steve suggested his father, Art,[41] who had an "old school" reputation for patience with young Thoroughbreds and a small racing stable of about 15 horses, which allowed each animal to be given individualized attention.[42] Art Sherman liked the enthusiasm of Martin and Coburn,[16] but when Martin emailed a "Road to the Kentucky Derby" plan outlining which races California Chrome should run, Sherman was dubious. Later, Sherman's son Alan stated, "[Martin] mapped out a trail for this horse; it's actually worked to a 'T', so it's kinda amazing."[19] Art Sherman downplays his role in training California Chrome, saying "This horse is my California rock star. I'm just his manager."[43]

a smiling elderly man in a gray suit, wearing sunglasses
Art Sherman, 2014
a middle aged man in a dark suit, wearing sunglasses
Alan Sherman, 2014

Sherman became a professional jockey in 1957,[44] and turned to training racehorses in 1979.[45] California Chrome was the first Kentucky Derby prospect that Sherman had trained, but he had prior experience with another Derby horse: in 1955, at the age of 18,[16] he worked for Rex Ellsworth[46] and was the exercise rider of Kentucky Derby winner Swaps.[16] Art Sherman's assistant is his son, Alan,[47] who is also a licensed trainer.[17] Rather than run an independent stable like his brother Steve, Alan has worked with his father since 1991. He does most of the hands-on day-to-day work with California Chrome and stayed with him throughout his Triple Crown travels when Art returned to California to oversee the rest of the stable.[48]

Unlike many of the high-end California Thoroughbred trainers, who usually are headquartered at Santa Anita Park,[49] the Shermans kept horses at Hollywood Park, but when it closed in December 2013, Los Alamitos Race Course picked up some of the racing trainers who had stabled horses there, including Sherman Training Stables.[50][16] Los Alamitos also took over some of Hollywood Park's Thoroughbred racing dates, but was better-known for Quarter Horse racing.[51] The success of California Chrome, who was conditioned there over the track that had been recently expanded to accommodate longer races, created good publicity for Los Alamitos in advance of its new race meets.[4]

Behavior[edit]

Observers have commented that California Chrome appears to be a very intelligent horse,[52] as he expresses curiosity about everything around him.[53] He has certain idiosyncrasies, including a fondness for one specific brand of horse cookies, and the Coburns claim he will not eat any other brand.[10][c] He has a tendency to perform a flehmen response for no obvious reason, particularly when he is being bathed, prompting the press to claim that he is "smiling" for the camera.[55] When walking in the stable area, he deliberately stops and puts his ears forward, "posing" for cameras when he hears them clicking.[52] Another unusual behavior is that he will not walk forward out of horse vans designed for a forward exit; he will only back out.[56] Of more serious concern was California Chrome's history of being slow out of the starting gate; in his early races, he grew impatient if he had to wait too long for the start. At times, he expressed his anxiety by rocking from side to side, thus preventing him from being oriented straight forward when the gate opened.[57]

Racing history[edit]

Purple silks with green trimmings and a green cap; DAP is displayed on the left breast.
Front
Purple silks with green trimmings and a green donkey emblem
Back
Racing colors of DAP Racing

2013: Two-year-old season[edit]

California Chrome's first start as a two-year-old was in a maiden race at Hollywood Park in April 2013, where he placed second by a length.[58] Three weeks later, he won a maiden race by 2 34 lengths.[59] In both races, he was ridden by Alberto Delgado. About a month later, California Chrome was entered in the Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes. He was one of four horses assigned to carry 120 pounds (54 kg), the highest impost given by the handicapper for the race.[60] Alberto Delgado was out with a broken ankle, so Corey Nakatani was his rider.[61] The colt was second for the first three furlongs but finished fifth in a field of nine.[60] He was given a six-week break and then moved to Del Mar racetrack for his next two races.[62] Delgado returned as his jockey, and California Chrome scored his second career win in the Graduation Stakes, a race limited to California-bred horses,[63] prevailing by 2 34 lengths. As in the previous race, he carried 120 pounds (54 kg) and ran 5 12 furlongs, but this time he wore blinkers and also ran on the medication Lasix for the first time in his career.[62] Next was his first graded stakes race, the seven-furlong, Grade I Del Mar Futurity. Although he ran strongly, he got caught in traffic in a field of 11 horses,[64] was accidentally hit in the face by another jockey's whip,[65] and finished sixth.[64] After that, California Chrome was given almost two months before he raced again, in the Golden State Juvenile Stakes on November 1 at Santa Anita Park. This race was on the undercard for the Breeders' Cup,[66] and at 1 mile (1.6 km), was the longest race he had run. He was assigned the number 1 post position[67] and thus had to wait for all the other horses to load. He became anxious during the wait, reared in the gate,[57] was last out, struggled throughout the race, and finished sixth.[67] It was the last time Alberto Delgado was the horse's jockey,[65] but Sherman only stated publicly that California Chrome's poor performance occurred because he was still growing and learning how to be a racehorse.[63] In the fall of 2013, Alberto's younger brother, Willie Delgado, an experienced rider and trainer whose career was in the doldrums, moved from Maryland to California and within a couple of months became the horse's morning exercise rider, even after Alberto was taken off the horse.[53]

In December, California Chrome began wearing a new type of horseshoe.[68] He began to develop low heels, and in late 2013, his farrier, Judd Fisher, found that a particular style of glued-on horseshoe with a rim pad that raised a horse's heels was suitable for fixing the problem.[69] Aside from that issue, Sherman explained that the horse's hooves have generally been healthy.[70][71] Fisher also liked the shoe's design because it incorporated a hard rubber pad that was very durable.[68] Instead of gluing it on, he custom-drilled holes into the shoe so it could be nailed to the horse's feet in the manner of a traditional metal shoe.[69] According to Fisher, nailing on the shoes raised the soles of the horse's feet a little bit farther off the ground.[72] It may have been a contributing factor to California Chrome's subsequent series of wins.[69]

The horse returned to Hollywood Park for his final race of 2013, the King Glorious Stakes on December 22. He had a lighter impost of 119 pounds (54 kg), a shorter distance of seven furlongs, and a new jockey, Victor Espinoza,[73] who won the 2002 Kentucky Derby on War Emblem.[74] California Chrome won the race by 6 14 lengths,[73] becoming the final stakes winner at Hollywood Park Racetrack, which held its last races that day.[75] Sherman was pleased with Espinoza's riding, and Espinoza was impressed in turn with California Chrome.[63] Alan Sherman later said that it was after this race that he began to think that California Chrome could be a Kentucky Derby contender.[76]

A racehorse and jockey being led by a groom, with a man in a business suit walking alongside
2014 San Felipe Stakes: jockey Victor Espinoza, groom Raul Rodriquez (leading horse), assistant trainer Alan Sherman (right)

2014: Three-year-old season[edit]

California Chrome began 2014 with the California Cup Derby on January 25. Espinoza returned as his jockey. California Chrome was slow coming out of the gate but quickly moved up to third place, took the lead coming into the homestretch, and won by 5 12 lengths.[77] Sherman noted that it was the second consecutive race where the horse pulled clear and won by a decisive margin, stating, "It's like the light bulb has gone on."[78]

California Chrome's first graded stakes win was the March 8 Grade II San Felipe Stakes.[79] Espinoza tried a different riding tactic and let the horse go to the lead right out of the gate.[80] California Chrome led most of the way, and after Espinoza gave him one tap on the shoulder with the whip, the horse pulled away from the field at the top of the homestretch and won by 7 12 lengths.[79] Alan Sherman said, "My jaw dropped",[81] while Art Sherman joked, "I'm glad I'm training at Los Alamitos, because he looked like a 350 [yard] horse coming out of the gate";[82] a reference to Quarter Horse racing sprint distances. Espinoza remarked, "I wanted to let him enjoy his race,"[83] later adding, "I wanted to see if he [could] go wire to wire ... that was the day I found out how much he loves to run."[65] The San Felipe was California Chrome's first win in a race open to all three-year-olds, not just California-breds, and earned him 50 points in the Road to the Kentucky Derby system.[80]

California Chrome's first Grade I win was the Santa Anita Derby on April 8.[84] Prior to the race, his owners turned down a $6 million offer for a 51% controlling interest in the colt that would have mandated putting the horse with a different trainer.[65] Coburn later explained why they turned it down: "This isn't about the money, this is about the dream."[29] California Chrome raced to the front of the field by the quarter pole and went on to win the $1 million race by 5 14 lengths.[84]

"They would need to sprout wings to get to California Chrome."

Trevor Denman, track announcer at Santa Anita Park, calling the 2014 San Felipe Stakes[80][85]

California Chrome's time of 1:47.52[17] earned him a Beyer Speed Figure of 107, the fastest for any horse in the Road to the Kentucky Derby's final prep races of 2014.[86] It was also the second fastest time in the history of the Santa Anita Derby; the only horses to run faster were Lucky Debonair, Sham, and Indian Charlie, who hold a three-way tie for the record at 1:47:00.[87][88] The decisive win made him an early favorite to win the 2014 Kentucky Derby and raised speculation that he had the talent to win the Triple Crown.[89] After the Santa Anita Derby win, Sherman began to describe the colt as "my Swaps".[16] Of his growing popularity, Denise Martin commented, "He's not just our horse anymore; he's ...the people's horse."[5]

Kentucky Derby[edit]

Prior to 2014, only three California-bred horses had won the Kentucky Derby: Morvich in 1922, Swaps in 1955, and Decidedly in 1962.[3] Besides Swaps,[90] the only other horses to win both the Santa Anita Derby and the Kentucky Derby were I'll Have Another, Sunday Silence, Winning Colors, Affirmed,[91] and Majestic Prince.[92] Steve Coburn predicted that the horse was going to win. "I'm not being cocky, just positive", he said.[5]

Two horses with riders walking on a racetrack, one leading the other
California Chrome (left) in the post parade for the 2014 Kentucky Derby

California Chrome's previous four wins had a combined victory margin of 24 14 lengths.[93] Rival trainer Bob Baffert compared California Chrome favorably to War Emblem.[94][d] Trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who had no entries in the 2014 Derby, told a reporter that he intended to bet on the horse and commented, "He's looked like the real deal ... I like everything about him."[96] On the other hand, Dallas Stewart, trainer of rival Commanding Curve, dismissed California Chrome's chances due to his pedigree and the supposed lack of competition in his prior races.[97] Others doubted his ability because the colt had never raced outside California.[98] In contrast to the critics, reports surfaced that the owners had turned down a new offer of $10 million.[99]

The colt arrived at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, on April 28, 2014, and was one of the last Derby contenders to arrive. He was flown in from California, his first time on a plane, and traveled quietly. Once the plane landed, however, his travel idiosyncrasy was discovered by the waiting press when he refused to be unloaded until he was turned around and backed down the ramp; Alan Sherman explained later that this was also his typical manner of egress from ground-based transportation.[56] Fisher was flown in to give him a new set of shoes.[69] Upon arrival at Churchill Downs, the horses entered in the Kentucky Derby each were given a special saddle cloth to wear while exercising on the track, identifying them as Derby contenders and including their name.[100] The one given to California Chrome contained a typographical error, with California misspelled as "Califorina".[101] He wore it the first day and then the track management obtained one with the correct spelling.[100] Critics commented that bringing the horse in late and not giving him a full workout on the track was a mistake,[102] but Sherman's strategy was backed by Lukas.[96] California Chrome was strong and energetic even though he had to adjust to a three-hour time zone change.[103] In the days leading up to the race, he galloped on the track,[104] was walked in the saddling paddock, and became familiar with the starting gate.[103] Willie Delgado later remarked that the horse did not particularly like the track, saying "he never actually felt comfortable on it."[105]

Three racehorses heading toward the finish line
Espinoza celebrates winning the 2014 Kentucky Derby prior to crossing the finish line, standing in his stirrups and raising his whip. Commanding Curve is second, Danza third.

California Chrome's connections drew post position five for the race. He was the morning line favorite at odds of 5–2.[106] The press suggested that the number five spot, relatively close to the inside rail, could be a problem owing to the "speed horses" that would go to the front early in the race, surrounding him on both sides,[24] combined with colt's past tendency to be slow out of the gate.[107][108] Espinoza countered by pointing out that he won the 2002 Kentucky Derby on War Emblem from the same post position.[109]

In the race, California Chrome had a clean start and could have taken the lead, but Espinoza kept him behind two speed horses and only moved him to the front at the final turn when other horses began to tire. In the homestretch, he opened up a lead of five lengths before Espinoza eased California Chrome the last 70 yards of the race,[24] narrowing his winning margin to 1 34 lengths.[110] Sherman later explained that Espinoza slowed the colt down at the finish was "saving something for the next one", a reference to the Preakness Stakes two weeks later.[25] The winning time of 2:03.66 was relatively slow for a Kentucky Derby,[24] but Sherman described Espinoza's ride as "picture perfect".[111] This win was Espinoza's second Derby victory, and 77-year-old Sherman became the oldest trainer to ever win the race.[112][e]

In a post-race press interview, Sherman said he had visited Swaps' grave at the Kentucky Derby Museum prior to the Derby and prayed for success. Trainer Dale Romans, who had asserted that California Chrome had no chance to win, said, "I was very, very wrong ... We might have just seen a super horse and a super trainer. You don't fake your way to the winner's circle at the Kentucky Derby."[114]

Preakness Stakes[edit]

A reddish-brown racehorse with a blanket of black and yellow flowers draped across his shoulders with his jockey in the saddle and surrounded by a group of smiling people
In the winner's circle at the 2014 Preakness Stakes: Art Sherman at horse's shoulder, Espinoza in the saddle, Alan Sherman (wearing glasses) at horse's flank next to Jose Espinoza, brother of Victor

California Chrome shipped on May 12 to Baltimore to run in the 2014 Preakness Stakes. On the plane were the other two Derby competitors to enter the Preakness: Ride On Curlin and General a Rod. Once on the ground, their van had a police escort from the airport to Pimlico Race Course.[115] When California Chrome arrived at Pimlico, the management at that track welcomed him with two saddlecloths for his workouts, one with the "Califorina" misspelling and the other with the correct spelling,[100] because the misspelled cloth was starting to be viewed as a good luck token.[101] Just as at Churchill Downs, the colt exercised on the Pimlico track but had no timed workouts.[116][117] Delgado compared the long and narrow Pimlico oval favorably to the home track at Los Alamitos.[118] Sherman did not like that the horse had to race again with only a two-week break, but was confident because California Chrome had gained back weight he had lost running the Derby, plus another 35 pounds (16 kg).[116]

News stories prior to the Preakness discussed the relatively slow pace of the Derby and the low Beyer Speed Figure of 97 earned by California Chrome in his win, asserting that the new horses in the Preakness might be a stronger field than in the Derby. One trainer said, "California Chrome has to prove again he's the best 3-year-old."[119][120] California Chrome was assigned the number three post position in a field of ten horses,[121] and was the morning line odds-on favorite at 3–5.[122] Followers noted that Secretariat had also run the 1973 Preakness Stakes from the number three post.[123] The Thursday before the race, California Chrome was observed coughing four times after his morning gallop,[124] prompting speculation about his health. He had a small blister in his throat, which he also had prior to the Kentucky Derby, both times treated with a glycerine throat wash. The intense press attention paid to the relatively minor issue was dismissively dubbed "throat-gate" by sportswriter Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times.[125]

Head shot of a racehorse wearing a blinker hood with a large white bandage affixed above his nostrils
California Chrome wearing his nasal strip at the 2014 Preakness

On race day, May 17, California Chrome made a clean start out of the gate, was close to the front through the backstretch, made his bid for the lead at the far turn, and was first by the top of the stretch. The second-place finisher was Ride on Curlin, who made a strong move late in the race to finish 1 12 lengths behind California Chrome. Both held off a challenge from Social Inclusion, who tired and finished third. General a Rod was fourth. The winning time was 1:54:84,[121]Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page).

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Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

  1. ^ a b "California Chrome". Kentuckyderby.com. Retrieved April 16, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Staff. "California Chrome (CA)". Equibase. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
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