California Chrome wins Kentucky Derby

California Chrome pulled away down the stretch for a dominant win the 140th Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Taking charge at the top of the lane, California Chrome and jockey Victor Espinoza made a decisive move and quickly sprinted clear.

California Chrome had an ideal trip in the 19-horse field. Espinoza had him sitting comfortably in third as Uncle Sigh and Chitu set the pace.

California Chrome made his move on the final turn in tandem with Samraat. It looked like those two would decide the outcome, until California Chrome found another gear and sped away, winning by 1¾ lengths in 2:03.66.

The 5-2 favorite stretched his winning streak to five and Art Sherman, 77, became the oldest winning Derby trainer.

In a game dominated by millionaires and billionaires, this was a victory for the little guys. Owners Perry Martin and Steve Coburn bred an $8,000 mare to a $2,500 stallion to win the world's most famous race with their one-horse stable.

MORE: Yuba City's California Chrome seeking gold at Kentucky Derby

Coburn was asked what could match a victory in the Derby.

"Nothing at all. Nothing, nothing," Coburn said.

The next Triple Crown race is the 1 3/16-mile Preakness on May 17 with the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes on June 7.

There have been 11 Triple Crown winners but no horse has swept the three races since Affirmed in 1978. Since then 12 horses have won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness but could not win the Belmont.

This year's Derby was run with 19 horses. Long shot Commanding Curve rallied for second, with Danza third. Wicked Strong was fourth.

The race has a maximum field of 20. Qualification is based on a points system pegged to designated stakes races for 2-and-3-year olds.

The field was reduced to 19 when Hoppertunity was scratched Thursday due to a potential foot problem. Pablo Del Monte was 21st in the points standings, but his owners opted not to race him in the Derby.

The second largest crowd ever -- 164,906 watched the race live.


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