After winning the Kentucky Derby, California Chrome won the Preakness, the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, on Saturday, and the thoroughbred will try to become the first California-bred horse–and the first horse since Affirmed in 1978–to win the Triple Crown.
California Chrome will race next on June 7 in New York at the Belmont Stakes, the last leg of the Triple Crown that is referred to as “The Test of a Champion” because the mile-and-a-half race is the longest of the three races.
At the 1 3/16-mile Preakness, the official results were: #3 California Chrome ($3.00); #10 Ride on Curlin ($5.60); #8 Social Inclusion ($3.40).
“It’s an awesome feeling to be able to have a horse like California Chrome,” jockey Victor Espinoza, who has not lost a race on the horse, said after the race. “He’s just amazing.”
California Chrome, referred to as a “push-button horse,” now joins Big Brown and I’ll Have Another as the only three horses to have won the first two legs of the Triple Crown in the last decade.
Trainer Art Sherman and Dumbass Partners, the horse’s owners, are themselves inspirational stories. Sherman, the 77-year-old journeyman trainer, got his first two million-dollar wins with California Chrome. Co-owners Steve Coburn and Perry Martin were told that they would be “dumbasses” if they purchased the horse who would become California Chrome.
They all have a chance to make history in three weeks.
Photo: USA Today