Pimlico Race Course played host to the 139th Preakness Stakes on Saturday, and while the beautiful day was the perfect atmosphere for the second jewel of the Triple Crown, California Chrome stole the show.
The colt ran a blistering race, finishing in one minute and 54.84 seconds. Bleacher Report captured the moment when he and jockey Victor Espinoza crossed the finish line:
With wins at the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, Chrome is now on track to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. We'll have to wait until June 7 and the Belmont Stakes for him to potentially make history, however.
Overall, the Preakness was an exciting two minutes of racing. Ride On Curlin and Social Inclusion really gave Chrome a run for his money, finishing in second and third, respectively. Below you'll find the full results from the Preakness:
|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|
Only those top three horses earned payouts, however:
|10||Ride On Curlin||-||$5.60||$3.80|
*$2 Exacta (3-10) paid $18.20; $1 Trifecta (3-8-2) paid $38.00; $1 Superfecta (3-10-8-2) paid $173.80.
Just giving you a list of the finishing order isn't really enough to capture how great this race was. Here's a full breakdown.
Chrome started the race out of the No. 3 position, and Espinoza had Chrome run quickly out of the gate. The duo avoided the initial pack and didn't get tangled with the other horses from the start.
Espinoza enacted the same strategy he did at the Kentucky Derby after getting out of the gate. Chrome kept right behind the leaders—Pablo Del Monte and Ria Antonia, at the start—in order to create space behind them. After he had room to work with, Espinoza drifted to the outside—in the perfect position to make his move when the time came.
That time came around the final turn. With Social Inclusion on his tail, Espinoza was forced to push Chrome harder a little earlier than expected. Chrome was able to maintain this cruising speed anyway.
After Chrome, Social Inclusion and Ride On Curlin made moves to the front, Pablo Del Monte and Ria Antonia dropped toward the back of the pack. They were no longer threats.
Social Inclusion's push for the front ended early, as Chrome and Ride On Curlin showed off their speed on the final portion of the race. Social Inclusion would finish in third, eight lengths behind the winner.
Will California Crown win at Belmont?
The final furlong was nearly a neck-and-neck sprint between Chrome and Ride On Curlin. Chrome had the advantage the whole time, but Ride On Curlin would not go quietly.
After maintaining such a blistering pace for the final stretch of the race, Chrome still had something on reserve. Espinoza tapped into that reserve and sprinted away, leading Chrome to a win by 1 3/4 lengths.
Chrome will next see action in the Belmont Stakes. He has to be considered the favorite after seeing how well he has performed in the past two races. Plus, Chrome hasn't lost in six straight races.
We might witness history on June 7.