California Chrome to have crack at Triple Crown

California Chrome #3, ridden by Victor Espinoza, crosses the finish line to win the 139th running...

California Chrome #3, ridden by Victor Espinoza, crosses the finish line to win the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP)

ROB LONGLEY, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 6:53 PM ET

BALTIMORE - The Triple Crown is looking more and more like it might just fit California Chrome fine.

The three-year-old thoroughbred used a massive stretch run to capture Saturday’s Preakness Stakes and move one step closer to sporting glory. His victory here at Pimlico Racecourse was even more impressive than his Kentucky Derby triumph two weeks ago and now it’s on to the Belmont Stakes for the final leg in 21 days.

“I tell you one thing, he’s a racehorse,” said 77-year-old trainer Art Sherman. “I’m hoping the mile and a half (distance of the Belmont Stakes) is up his alley.”

Long shot Ride On Curlin gave California Chrome the best fight among the nine others in the 1 3/16th mile race and took second. Social Inclusion, who was ridden by Luis Contreras, the top jockey at Toronto’s Woodbine Racetrack, was third.

The time of 1:54 4/5 was a solid effort for the winner as he won by a length and a half. It was six and a half lengths back to the third place finisher. Sent off as a huge favourite, California Chrome paid $3 on a $2 win ticket.

Now it’s on to Belmont Park on Long Island, where the striking chestnut will bid to become the first to capture racing’s Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978.

“I hope he’s okay, you never know until he runs,” winning jockey Victor Espinoza said. “He seems like he’s going to be all right. With a bit of time off, he’s going to get some more energy.”

And he’s already proven to have the horsepower.

 


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