Two downs and one to go as California Chrome won the Grade 1 $1.5 million Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on Saturday, running his winning streak to six. Now it is off to the Big Apple in three weeks for a shot at Triple Crown glory.
Sent off as the 1-2 betting favorite, the colt broke alertly under jockey Victor Espinoza, who put the colt in a perfect position sitting just off the early pace which was set by longshot Pablo Del Monte.
Social Inclusion was expected to set the early fractions, but after breaking cleanly the colt just was not quick enough to get to the lead. The colt did make a move around the far turn that forced the hand of Espinoza, but the Derby winner sprinted clear heading for home, opening up a clear lead and then holding off the late running Ride On Curlin, who passed the tiring Social Inclusion in midstretch and came up just 1 ½ lengths short.
General a Rod made a good late to just miss out on the show photo, settling for fourth.
The winner stopped the time for the 1 3/16 miles in 1:54.84 and became the first California bred to win the second jewel of the Triple Crown since Snow Chief in 1986. The colt was the third Derby winner to win the Preakness in the last 10 years, joining Big Brown (2008) and I’ll Have Another (2012).
California Chrome wins the #Preakness2014 with an unofficial time of 1.54.84! The dream of the Triple Crown is alive! pic.twitter.com/nB5dWEj3Ft
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 17, 2014
There have been a dozen horses that have won the Derby-Preakness double since Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978, but all came up short in the Belmont Stakes.
The 2014 Belmont Stakes will be run on Saturday, June 7 at Belmont Park on what will be the richest day of racing Belmont Stakes history. There are nine additional stakes including five prestigious Grade 1 events: the $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap, the $1 million Ogden Phipps, the $1 million Manhattan, the $750,000 Longines Just a Game and the $750,000 Acorn.
In total, the 13-race card will be worth $8 million, making New York’s Spring Championships the second-richest day on the North American racing calendar behind only Breeders’ Cup Saturday.
Replay of the 2014 Preakness Stakes
Results of the 2014 Preakness Stakes
3 California Chrome V. Espinoza $3.00 $3.00 $2.40
10 Ride On Curlin J. Rosario $5.60 $3.80
8 Social Inclusion L. Contreras $3.40
Winning Trainer: Sherman Art | Owner: Coburn, Steven and Martin, Perry
$2 Exacta (3-10) Paid: $18.20
$2 Trifecta (3-10-8) Paid: $76.00
$1 Superfecta (3-10-8-2) Paid: $173.80
$2 Super High Five (3-10-8-2-4) Paid: $2,438.20
Unplaced horses listed in order of finish: General a Rod, Ring Weekend, Pablo Del Monte, Dynamic Impact, Kid Cruz, Bayern and Ria Antonia
Michael Dempsey’s Belmont Park Reports
Michael’s Belmont Park Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations. Michael has been handicapping the New York circuit on a daily basis for nearly three decades.
Belmont Park Spring/Summer Meet Special: Michael’s full card reports for the entire spring/summer meeting at Belmont Park from May 1 until July 13. The package includes the Belmont Stakes Day card along with three new events – the Belmont Stakes Festival on June 6-8, Stars & Stripes Day on July 5 and a May 11 Mother’s Day card featuring three graded stakes. In all, the schedule contains 62 stakes races worth $17.95 million, including 16 overnight stakes with purses of $100,000 each.