California Chrome and Victor Espinoza: Odds, Predictions for Belmont Stakes

David Daniels@TheRealDDanielsSenior Writer IMay 17, 2014

Jockey Victor Espinoza, center, aboard California Chrome, celebrates after winning the 139th Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Baltimore. Ride On Curlin, left, ridden by Joel Rosario, finished second. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Two down, one to go for California Chrome and his jockey, Victor Espinoza.

They will make history if they keep doing what they're doing. They followed their 2014 Kentucky Derby victory with another in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday. Of course, according to SportsCenter, they've already joined quite an elite club.

Those 12 other horses had an opportunity to become horse No. 12 to win the Triple Crown. The last to nearly do it was I'll Have Another in 2012. But tendinitis sidelined him on race day.

I'll Have Another left this elite club 0-12 in the Belmont Stakes, drawing out the drought without a Triple Crown to 35 years. The previous decades-lasting drought only last 25 years, spanning from 1948 to 1973.

This year, though, California Chrome looks different. 

The now-legendary horse won by nearly two lengths in the Kentucky Derby and 1 1/2 lengths in the Preakness. Exploding out of the starting gate was supposed to be his weakness, but he held on to a top-three spot for the entirety of the race. A lack of world-class, top-end speed was supposed to put his Triple Crown pursuit in danger in the sprint that is the Preakness. 

But it didn't.

Whether he's winning as a result of blazing speed or a weak field doesn't make a difference when it comes to ending the drought.

Prior to the Preakness, Odds Shark gave California Chrome 2-1 odds to win the Triple Crown. That's a better chance than his competitors were given to upset him on Saturday. He entered as a 3-5 favorite and the top contender, Social Inclusion, at 5-1.

According to RJ Bell of, California Chrome will be favored again in the third leg of the Triple Crown:

No one in the Kentucky Derby or Preakness has been able to compete with California Chrome. Unless a special horse emerges out of nowhere, he will win the Belmont—he will end the drought.


David Daniels is a columnist at Bleacher Report and editor at Wade-O Radio.