Today, California Chrome will make history in one form or another at Belmont 2014.
After winning the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, he will either become the first horse to complete the Triple Crown since 1978 or the 13th since then to fall short of it following wins in the first two legs. The former is a tad more memorable.
Here's a list of horse odds and jockey info, weather forecast and race pick for the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes.
|1||Medal Count||Robby Albarado||20-1|
|2||California Chrome||Victor Espinoza||3-5|
|4||Commanding Curve||Shaun Bridgmohan||15-1|
|5||Ride On Curlin||John Velazquez||12-1|
|9||Wicked Strong||Rajiv Maragh||6-1|
|10||General a Rod||Rosie Napravnik||20-1|
Weather Forecast: 85 degrees (according to weather.com)
Elmont, New York will be beautiful for California Chrome's Belmont celebration.
Yes, he will complete the Triple Crown. The Belmont field is deep, but it fails to present a challenger that should make California Chrome's team nervous, at least to the point of puking.
Wicked Strong, the top threat to his title, lost the Derby by 5 3/4 lengths. The second-greatest threat, Tonalist, sits in post position No. 11. Only two horses since 1905 have won the Belmont starting in that slot.
Comparatively, 11 horses have won starting from California Chrome's post No. 2. He also already beat his next two most dangerous competitors, Ride On Curlin and Commanding Curve, by over a length in the Preakness and Derby respectively. And California Chrome actually beat Ride On Curlin by 6 3/4 lengths in the Derby too.
No other horse enters with better odds than a long-shot 20-1. Medal Count lost the Derby by 7 1/2 lengths and General a Rod lost the Derby and Preakness by a combined 16 1/4 lengths.
Half the field is made up of horses California Chrome has already cooked, and the other half is unproven and/or in unfavorable post positions. I'm not saying to bet your house on California Chrome, but your life savings could be worth the risk.
Not really. But in all seriousness, the Belmont is California Chrome's race to lose. And if he loses, something went terribly wrong.
David Daniels is a columnist at Bleacher Report. He tweets, too.