If you missed all of the action at Pimlico on Saturday—or simply want to relive the action-packed spectacle—you've come to the right place.
The 2014 Preakness Stakes featured an immensely strong field. But no competitor came in with more to gain—or lose—than California Chrome.
After winning the Kentucky Derby in decisive fashion, California Chrome began in the No. 3 post at the Preakness in front of a record crowd of 123,469, according to a tweet from DRF Derby:
Record attendance at #Preakness: 123,469— DRF Derby (@DRFDerby) May 17, 2014
He got out to a quick start, getting out of the gate cleanly, and found himself settled in near the front of the pack. The pace was quick to start, as the field was full of horses with top-end speed. That didn't matter to California Chrome.
Veteran jockey Victor Espinoza brought a fantastic strategy to the race.
After he settled California Chrome into his position in the pack, he maintained a solid pace, saving endurance for the duo's signature break on the backstretch.
Espinoza took his horse wide around the leader heading into the far turn, and it was all California Chrome from there.
Heading into the backstretch, California Chrome burst to the front of the pack with blazing speed for that point of the race. He quickly found himself ahead by a solid margin and refused to give up ground.
Ride On Curlin provided a solid effort down the final stretch, attempting to gain ground from the outside. However, California Chrome proved to be too strong to overtake.
At the race's end, Bleacher Report tweeted California Chrome's unofficial blazing time:
Here's a look at the race in its entirety:
After the dust settled at Pimlico, here's how the final results stood:
|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|
So, were you one of the lucky bettors who put faith in California Chrome?
If so, here's a look at your reward:
|10||Ride On Curlin||-||$5.60||$3.80|
Speaking of odds, it's already a well-known fact that California Chrome has been defying the odds for quite some time now. After all, the horse cost his owners a mere $10,000—hardly the price for a Triple Crown-worthy competitor.
Continuing that trend, California Chrome flourished in the face of more obstacles on Saturday, according to a couple of tweets from ESPN Stats & Info:
California Chrome joins Big Brown (2008) & Smarty Jones (2004) as the only odds-on favorites to win the Preakness since 1980.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 17, 2014
California Chrome is the 1st horse to win the Preakness from the No. 3 post position since Prairie Bayou in 1993.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 17, 2014
Now, California Chrome must defy the odds one more time, as he sets his sights on the 2014 Belmont Stakes and the coveted Triple Crown.
It hasn't been easy for any horse to win the Belmont Stakes after emerging victorious in the first two legs of the Triple Crown since Affirmed took the title in 1978, according to a tweet from SportsCenter:
Lucky number 13? California Chrome is 13th horse to win both Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes since last Triple Crown in 1978.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 17, 2014
If any horse has what it takes to get the job done, it's California Chrome.
Owner Steve Coburn sure thinks his horse has what it takes, according to an interview with Childs Walker of The Baltimore Sun:
The Triple Crown. I don't mean to be bold or cocky or arrogant, because I've said this. When I saw this colt, when I saw this baby when he was a day old, I told my wife, Carolyn, this horse is going to do something big. I don't know what it is, but we're going to stay in the game to make sure this colt gets to be the best that he can be. I've been a firm believer in that ever since, and he's not proven me wrong.
Coburn certainly has a point.
There's nothing California Chrome has done to this point to indicate he doesn't have a great chance of winning the Belmont Stakes and taking home the Triple Crown.
Sure, there will be plenty of fierce competition, but this horse is a proven winner, and it's very difficult to bet against him.
The Belmont Stakes can't get here fast enough.