California Chrome won the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Racecourse in Maryland and now heads to the Big Apple, New York City, with a chance to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. The California-bred colt by a sire commanding a $2,500 stud fee, out of a mare purchased for the paltry sum of $8,000, will in three weeks time attempt to succeed where twelve colts have failed in the last three and a half decades by winning the mile and a half Belmont Stakes to complete the Triple Crown sweep.
Ride On Curlin bounced back from a tough Kentucky Derby run to finished second, while Social Inclusion rounded out the trifecta.
California Chrome? California Gold. Derby Gold.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat. California Chrome stalked the pace with his excellent tactical speed, went to the front at the top of the lane and cruised home to win the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Following his brilliant victory in the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May, California Chrome came into the Preakness with lofty expectations. Installed as the odds-on 3/5 favorite on the morning line, the Derby winner was expected, in the eyes of the bettors, to back up his Churchill Downs success with a victory at Pimlico. But, as is the case in the sport of horse racing, nothing is a certain and things are always unpredictable, as the racing world remembered all too well after it was revealed California Chrome was dealing with a throat blister in the days leading up to the Preakness, a condition he suffered from prior to the Derby, according to his connections.
Despite the hand-wringing and collective concerns from horse racing fans across the country, California Chrome, on this day, lived up to his billing by winning the second leg of the Triple Crown. He now carries with him the hopes of fans let down by the failures of Spectacular Bid, Pleasant Colony, Alysheba, Sunday Silence, Silver Charm, Real Quiet, Charismatic, War Emblem, Funny Cide, Smarty Jones, Big Brown, and I'll Have Another.
California Chrome is a three-year-old colt by Lucky Pulpit out of a Not for Love mare, trained by Art Sherman, and ridden by Victor Espinoza. The victory in the Preakness is California Chrome's sixth straight dating to his score in the King Glorious Stakes at Hollywood Park on December 22nd and his eighth victory in 12 lifetime starts, earning him a total of approximately $3.1 million.