California Chrome's run at the coveted Triple Crown continues after a sparkling performance in the 139th Preakness Stakes on Saturday.
The California-bred colt got a great jump out of the gate, bursting easily to the front of the pack.
Veteran Jockey Victor Espinoza wisely took California Chrome wide early on to avoid getting pinned against the rail, setting himself up to make his signature run from the outside during the far turn.
After jockeying for position with Social Inclusion, Espinoza and California Chrome jolted to the lead down the final stretch and fended off a late surge by Ride On Curlin to take the Preakness win by 1 1/2 lengths.
The pace was fast throughout the race, and Bleacher Report tweeted California Chrome's unofficial time:
Here's a look at California Chrome's dazzling performance:
Not only did lucky bettors earn nice paychecks Saturday, but the top five finishers in the Preakness Stakes will also take home some hard-earned cash.
Here's how the $1.5 million purse was distributed:
|2||1 1/2||Ride On Curlin||$300,000|
|4||8||General a Rod||$90,000|
|5||12 1/4||Ring Weekend||$45,000|
After the race, trainer Art Sherman spoke highly of California Chrome during an interview with NBC, via a tweet from DRF Derby:
Moments after race, Art Sherman tells NBC: "He's a real racehorse, and I'm hoping that the mile and a half is up his alley, too." #Preakness— DRF Derby (@DRFDerby) May 17, 2014
Here's a look at the race's complete final standings:
|1||3||California Chrome||Victor Espinoza||Art Sherman||--|
|2||10||Ride On Curlin||Joel Rosario||William Gowan||1 1/2|
|3||8||Social Inclusion||Luis Contreras||Manny Azpurua||8|
|4||2||General a Rod||Javier Castellano||Mike Maker||8|
|5||4||Ring Weekend||Alan Garcia||H. Graham Motion||12 1/4|
|6||9||Pablo Del Monte||Jeffrey Sanchez||Wesley A. Ward||14|
|7||1||Dynamic Impact||Miguel Mena||Mark E. Casse||15 3/4|
|8||7||Kid Cruz||Julian Pimentel||Linda Rice||15 3/4|
|9||5||Bayern||Rosie Napravnik||Bob Baffert||20 3/4|
|10||6||Ria Antonia||Calvin Borel||Tom Amoss||30 3/4|
Now, with Kentucky Derby and Preakness wins under his belt, California Chrome looks to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
Next on the slate will be the highly contested Belmont Stakes.
The third jewel of the Triple Crown figures to have a very strong field and should provide some fierce competition. After two short turnarounds, California Chrome will have his hands full as he attempts to make history.
According to a tweet from Belmont Stakes, it is anxiously awaiting California Chrome's arrival in June:
Is it time for a #TripleChrome?! Congratulations, California Chrome!— Belmont Stakes (@BelmontStakes) May 17, 2014
Will we see the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years?
It won't be long until we find out.