The 2014 winner of the classic Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes has turned in an exciting race in the $300,000 GR IT Hollywood Derby Nov. 29, 2014. California Chrome was successful at Del Mar against the competition that included Lexie Lou of Queen’s Plate fame, crossing the wire by a lead of two lengths in his first race ever on the turf.
California Chrome took to the turf splendidly for his 77-year-old trainer Art Sherman and under the riding guidance of his usual jockey, Victor Espinoza. He ran a good race, completing the distance of 1 1/8 mile in 1:47.88.
The three-year-old son of Lucky Pulpit, out of Love the Chase by Not For Love broke from the starting gate well and settled to lead into the first turn as Sawyer’s Hill pushed ahead to set the pace. California Chrome held fast to second until, heading into the far turn, Espinoza encouraged him ahead. California Chrome passed the rival Sawyer’s Hill, took over the lead, and sprinted across the wire by two lengths.
California Chrome, carrying 122 pounds, paid $3.40 to win, $2.60, and $2.10 as the 3-5 favorite. Lexie Lou finished second, Talco came in third and Sawyer’s Hill ended up in fourth place. Cabral and Flamboyant completed last in the field of six. Chrome’s success increased his earnings by $180,000 and his career earnings to $4,222,650
This fourth Grade I win in the Hollywood Derby ramps up California Chrome’s contention for Horse of the Year and three-year-old Eclipse Award honors. Besides the Hollywood Derby, Chrome’s 2014 victories include the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and the Grade I Santa Anita Derby. He ran to a third place finish in the Grade I $5-million Breeders’ Cup Classic.
California Chrome was bred in California and is owned by Steve Martin and Perry Coburn, who race under the name “Dumb Ass Partners.” The colt is trained by Art Sherman. Together, they have had 16 lifetime starts with nine victories.
Espinoza said after the Hollywood Derby, “Oh, he was ready to roll. He just turned it on and I knew we were home. You can see now that grass is no problem. Grass, dirt, synthetic, you name it. This horse likes it and he’ll run on it.”
Sherman was confident in California Chrome. He said, “We’re here on our home ground, he’s got all the people here and he’s such a favorite with everybody. It makes me feel good to know I can run him on the grass. Just another option.” Sherman went on, “There’s something about Del Mar, he’s a different horse here. I’ve always thought he could be good on grass. He’s so efficient. He doesn’t have any wasted motion. So far, he floats over it.”
The plans for California Chrome include another year of racing. Sherman is considering an option to run him in the $10 million Dubai World Cup in March, and another option might be the Royal Ascot.
The race is available on this link: California Chrome scores in Hollywood Derby