California Chrome etched his name into history by living up to expectations and earning first place in the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby.
The overwhelming favorite coming into the race got off to a strong start to stay near the front of the pack in the early going. By the final straightaway, jockey Victor Espinoza pulled away his horse from the rest of the contenders and across the finish line.
Here is a look at the complete race, courtesy of NBC Sports:
Commanding Curve charged late to earn second, helping many fans who bet on the long shot to place in the prestigious race.
In third place was Danza, who had a strong race but could not keep up late. Still, it did not seem like too many thoroughbreds could have stuck around with California Chrome in this dominant performance. Here is the complete finishing order of the race:
|1||5||California Chrome||Victor Espinoza||Art Sherman||-|
|2||17||Commanding Curve||Shaun Bridgmohan||Dallas Stewart||1 3/4|
|3||4||Danza||Joe Bravo||Todd Pletcher||3|
|4||20||Wicked Strong||Rajiv Maragh||Jimmy Jerkens||5 3/4|
|5||6||Samraat||Jose Ortiz||Rick Violette Jr.||5 3/4|
|6||12||Dance With Fate||Corey Nakatani||Peter Eurton||6 1/4|
|7||19||Ride On Curlin||Calvin Borel||Billy Gowan||6 3/4|
|8||14||Medal Count||Robby Albarado||Dale Romans||7 1/2|
|9||13||Chitu||Martin Garcia||Bob Baffert||8|
|10||7||We Miss Artie||Javier Castellano||Todd Pletcher||8 1/4|
|11||8||General A Rod||Joel Rosario||Mike Maker||8 1/4|
|12||16||Intense Holiday||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher||9|
|13||18||Candy Boy||Gary Stevens||John Sadler||11 3/4|
|14||3||Uncle Sigh||Irad Ortiz Jr.||Gary Contessa||15|
|15||15||Tapiture||Ricardo Santana Jr.||Steve Asmussen||16 1/4|
|16||2||Harry's Holiday||Corey Lanerie||Mike Maker||22 1/2|
|17||9||Vinceremos||Joe Rocco Jr.||Todd Pletcher||28|
|18||10||Wildcat Red||Luis Saez||Jose Garoffalo||28 1/4|
|19||1||Vicar's In Trouble||Rosie Napravnik||Mike Maker||38 1/4|
|11||Hoppertunity||Mike Smith||Bob Baffert||SCR|
via NBC Broadcast
One of the biggest reasons fans watch the Kentucky Derby is the betting factor. Considering the popularity of California Chrome, this obviously made a bunch of fans extremely happy.
Covers.com provides the complete breakdown of payouts:
Here is the payout table for the 140th Kentucky Derby pic.twitter.com/5ocFqBqqu7— Covers.com (@Covers) May 3, 2014
Still, this should not take away from the great effort of California Chrome and his entire team.
Art Sherman became the oldest trainer ever to win the Kentucky Derby at 77 years old. Most impressively, it was the first time he had a horse compete in this event.
Unsurprisingly, he was emotional afterward while making these statements:
Art Sherman on California Chrome: “He gave me the biggest thrill I ever had in my life.” #KyDerby— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) May 3, 2014
Trainer Art Sherman: "Words can't describe how I feel. It's like a dream come true." #KyDerby— Americas Best Racing (@ABRLive) May 3, 2014
While his time of two minutes and 3.66 seconds was not too great compared to other Derby winners in the past, this was a relatively slow race from the beginning. Few horses were pushing the pace, so California Chrome was satisfied in just keeping up before making his move.
Meanwhile, Commanding Curve should also be satisfied with his effort after coming into the race with better than 15-1 odds to win. Heading into the gate, this was the only thoroughbred finishing strong, according to Marcus Hersh of Daily Racing Form:
26.16-second final quarter-mile. 51.84 final half. Gotta say - Commanding Curve was really the only one that finished. #KyDerby— Marcus Hersh (@DRFHersh) May 3, 2014
The attention now shifts to the Preakness Stakes, as everyone will want to know if California Chrome has what it takes to win the Triple Crown. According to RJ Bell of Grantland, the odds are not too long:
California Chrome now paying +180 to win Triple Crown (at Sportsbook.ag)— RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) May 3, 2014
Considering no one has won the Triple Crown since 1978, it would be a mistake to assume he can get it done in 2014. Still, it is clear that he is the fastest horse in the field and should be a top contender unless something goes wrong.
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