Sometimes, horses are as good as advertised. That was the case with California Chrome on Saturday at the 140th Kentucky Derby.
The colt ran away from the field during the final seconds of the race to capture the first jewel of horse racing's Triple Crown. California Chrome's 77-year-old trainer Art Sherman was ecstatic when the race was over.
America's Best Racing captured this quote:
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
Sherman's horse came into the Run for the Roses as the 5-2 favorite, per KentuckyDerby.com. He surely didn't disappoint.
Here's a look at California Chrome's triumphant run:
Here are the final results, per the NBC broadcast:
|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|
Sherman became the oldest trainer to ever celebrate a victory at the Kentucky Derby. The horse and jockey Victor Espinoza took a competitive position early. As they approached the final stretch, Espinoza chided the dynamic horse to make a commanding move. Through the final quarter of the race, California Chrome made it look easy.
Congratulations came in from all over the Twitterverse:
Congratulations to California Chrome on winning the #KyDerby! Great race!— Ndamukong Suh (@NdamukongSuh) May 3, 2014
California Chrome showed Danza Who's The Boss.— Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) May 3, 2014
After such a dominant win, the horse racing world must brace itself for two weeks of Triple Crown talk heading into the 139th Preakness Stakes on May 17.
The sport is thirsty for a superstar horse that can captivate the attention of the casual fan. A Triple Crown winner would do just that.
I'll Have Another won the first two legs in 2012 but was scratched from the Belmont Stakes a day before he had a chance to make history.
As it stands, the sport hasn't seen a Triple Crown winner since Affirmed pulled off the trick in 1978. If California Chrome captures the Preakness Stakes, he may become one of the most compelling stories in the sport over the last 20 years.
Not only is he trained by a gentleman who is close to his 80th birthday, he is also the product of an $8,000 mare and a $2,500 stallion from a one-horse stable, per ESPN.com.
America loves a good story. If California Chrome keeps winning, he'll be at the center of a great one.