California Chrome easily wins Preakness
By Steve and Ginsburg
BALTIMORE (Reuters) - California Chrome drew away from the field in the stretch and easily won the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes on Saturday to remain in the hunt for the elusive Triple Crown.
The Kentucky Derby champion, ridden by Victor Espinoza, settled in nicely in third place before making his move on the far turn and grabbing the lead at the top of the stretch.
California Chrome, winner of six straight races, held a three-length lead in mid-stretch and cruised to the wire 1 1/4 lengths ahead of hard-charging Ride On Curlin.
"I had to move early today," said Espinoza. "I had to start moving in the half-mile pole, which is tough for a horse to start moving early and keep going all the way to the end. It's not easy."
Finishing third on a beautiful day at Pimlico Race Course before a record crowd of 123,469 was Social Inclusion, 6 1/2 lengths behind Ride On Curlin.
Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, a pair of small-time owners who created DAP Racing (Dumbass Partners), bought a mare named Love the Chase for $8,000 and paid a $2,500 stud fee to breed her with Lucky Pulpit, who won only three of his 22 starts.
The result of that modest mating was the chestnut California Chrome, who won $900,000 for Saturday's triumph to push his career earnings to nearly $3.5 million.
Trained by 77-year-old Art Sherman, California Chrome has won all five of his starts in 2014 and over his 12-race career has eight wins and a second. Continued...