Let the Triple Crown talk begin.
With a dominant performance at the 140th Kentucky Derby, California Chrome made some bettors quite happy. Down the stretch, California Chrome simply ran away from the field on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Guided by veteran jockey Victor Espinoza, California Chrome made it look easy. Even at the outset, before the horse took total control, he never looked out of sorts or uncomfortable.
When he made his move, he simply outclassed the rest of the field. Here's the final order of finish:
|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 Rococo 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|
What did California Chrome's 77-year-old trainer have to say about how the win might change him?
Per Jay Privman of the Daily Racing Form, Sherman said this:
My favorite quote of the post-race press conference: "I'm just the same old Art Sherman. Except I won the Kentucky Derby."— Jay Privman (@DRFPrivman) May 4, 2014
Horse racing has a little to do with gambling. Even more important than the full results is the list of horses that finished in the top three.
Here's the official payouts, per the NBC broadcast:
*$2 Exacta (5-17) paid $340.00; $1 Trifecta (5-17-4) paid $1,712.30; $1 Superfecta (5-17-4-20) paid $7,691.90.
Because California Chrome was the favorite all week, bandwagon bettors didn't clean up with their winnings. However, per ESPN's Darren Rovell, those who had the insight to bet on the colt in Nov. 2013 made a mint Saturday:
A bettor who placed a $60 wager with @allhorseracing in November on California Chrome at 375/1 is $22,500 richer tonight.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) May 4, 2014
California Chrome and his team made history in several ways. Take a look at some of the accomplishments and history that was made:
Trainer Art Sherman is the oldest Derby-winning trainer ever (77 years old).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 3, 2014
With California Chrome winning the Derby from the 5th post position, that position now holds the most victories in the Kentucky Derby (13).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 3, 2014
In a sport where high-priced breeding generates thoroughbreds that contend for fame in the biggest races, California Chrome represents the minority.
He is the product of an $8,000 mare and a $2,500 stallion from a one-horse stable, per ESPN.com.
All of those distinctions make California Chrome's story all the more magnetic. The sport is starving for a horse that can captivate the attention of the casual fan. California Chrome and his lovable trainer are the perfect combination to appeal to the masses.
It takes more than talent to become a star, and California Chrome seems to have the "it" factor.
If he's able to win the Preakness Stakes on May 17, the hype will reach an all-time high. Stay tuned and buckle up.