California Chrome’s Derby win one for little guys

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The 140th Kentucky Derby is in the books and it was one for the little guys, not only for the low profile owners but for trainer Art Sherman saddling his first Kentucky Derby horse.

What a beautiful and great day it was for CC and CC, California Chrome, the winner, and Commanding Curve, the second place finisher. Curve came storming down the stretch, putting on a late determined run gaining with every stride in cutting Chrome’s lead from five lengths to 1¾ at the wire.

Third place Danza was another 1¼ behind after being shuffled back at the start. He was really running well until having to wait for room, being steered out and bumped with Medal Count. When straight he kept running till the end in what was a great effort for this lightly raced colt who looks to have big things in his future.

As for Wicked Strong, well he stumbled at the break and that didn’t help his chances coming from the far outside post. He had an eventful trip, was weaving through traffic and closed well to get up by a nostril to finish fourth.

Dance With Fate had a horrible trip and will do better if he goes in the Belmont Stakes. He has talent.

Ride On Curlin also ran a much better-than-looked race as he had much trouble when steadied off heels when starting to make his run. He then came nine wide and was still running at the end.

California Chrome was meant to win and had a perfect trip. Jockey Victor Espinoza gets credit and we love it when the little guys get the money, especially when they beat the ones with all the money plus numbers like a Todd Pletcher, who always has all the aces to start but gets outdrawn when it counts.

Now it is on to Maryland and the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. There will be some new shooters taking on Chrome, including the very fast Social Inclusion and Kid Cruz, along with the Illinois Derby winner Dynamic Impact.

Of the horses that finished second, third and fourth in the Kentucky Derby none, as of yet, has said they will go to Pimlico.

Danza, who Pletcher said had an abysmal trip, will ship back to his home base in New York while they evaluate their options. Pletcher said after back-to-back huge efforts he may give him time off till the Belmont.

Jimmy Jerkens, who trains Wicked Strong, says he will likely not send him to Baltimore and probably wait till the Belmont.

“Bronco” Billy Gowan confirmed he will definitely send Ride On Curlin. Gowan said he never got a chance to really show his stuff in the Derby with all the trouble he had, but the horse came out of the race in good shape and it’s on to Baltimore.

Others who may go and try California Chrome are the Tampa Bay Derby winner Ring Weekend, the quick Bayern for Bob Baffert and Pablo Del Monte who will add even more speed to the race.

So what about the filly Untapable who many think could have won the Kentucky Derby if she could have run? She is a no for the Preakness and will go in the Acorn or Mother Goose versus the girls. Trainer Steve Asmussen did say she may face the boys later in the year.

It’s less than two weeks until the Preakness, the second jewel of the Triple Crown, and this will be a tall order for California Chrome. We do know one thing – the race books in Vegas and the people at Belmont Park will all be rooting for him for what would be a huge Belmont Stakes.

Myself and everyone here at GamingToday want to send get well wishes to Mrs. Caroline Porrello, the mother of Joe Porrello. Get well soon, and happy Mother’s Day.

Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper.  Follow Richard on Twitter @SabesBet. Contact Richard at [email protected].

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