California Chrome cruises to Kentucky Derby victory

 Kentucky DerbyDenying his ordinary antecedents, California Chrome won the $2m Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, hands down.

The amazing horse’s working-class owners, Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, had bought his dam, Love the Chase, for a modest $8,000 and bred her to an unknown California stallion for the tiny sum of $2,500. But the super-star horse and 5-2 Derby favourite, rocketed past his rivals to win spectacularly, albeit the winning time of 2:03.66 was over four seconds behind the 1¼ mile race record.

“He gave me the biggest thrill I ever had in my life,” said Art Sherman 77, who became the oldest winning trainer in the history of the race while the victorious jockey Victor Espinoza said “He’s an impressive horse, an amazing horse.”
California Chrome burst through the gates quickly, to deny his reputation of being a slow starter thereby enabling Espinoza to find a comfortable spot on the heels of the early leaders.

The astonishing animal drew alongside the leading pair in the home straight, and when Espinoza released the reins he drew a magical response from the horse to see him surge lengths in a style that is now legendary.

California Chrome has now notched five wins in his last five starts, and the manner of his victory immediately prompted speculation of the brilliant steed lifting the Triple Crown – the next leg of which is at Pimlico in Maryland, in two weeks’ time.

“We’ll see you all in Maryland. Then we’ll see you in New York. Why not? Why not?” said co-owner Coburn, as he beamed and held aloft one of horse-racing’s holiest grails

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