Author Topic: Belmont: California Chrome's run at history has hometown breathless  (Read 254 times)

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Offline mystery-ak

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http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-california-chrome-love-20140606-story.html#page=1





John Harris owns an agricultural empire of beef and pistachios, and a hotel known to most Californians who have ever traveled Interstate 5 through the Central Valley, but on a recent day his attention was fixed on a message spelled out in red Solo cups.

The sixth-graders at Centerville Elementary had put 150 of them in a chain-link fence to write "Go Cali Chrome."

"I get a real kick out of that," said Harris, who owns the horse farm where California Chrome was born.

Students in Centerville come to school in cowboy boots with shorts — the children of fieldworkers and farmers. They blasted country-rocker Kenny Chesney while they transformed the school fence.

They're into the blue-blood sport of thoroughbred racing these days, ever since they figured out that California Chrome — racing Saturday in the Belmont Stakes in a bid to become the first California-bred Triple Crown winner — comes from where they call home.

The copper-penny 3-year-old with the white blaze down his nose was born at Harris Farms in Coalinga. A landscape of cattle, oil wells and the center of California drought, it's an awful long way from Kentucky bluegrass.

As a yearling, California Chrome trained at Harris' home, River Ranch, next to Centerville, population about 350.

The far-fetched story of a horse from a place a lot of people call nowhere — outrunning what the establishment considered a limited pedigree — resonates in the Central Valley, where many people are trying to do the same.

"That horse was born, bred and fed here," said John Alkire, chief executive of the Big Fresno Fair. "But it's more than that. We're blue-collar. And this horse fits right in."

The day California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby, David White, a sportswriter turned Porterville pastor, was officiating a wedding. The wedding started at 6 p.m., the race at 3:24.

"It was all valley people and the whole wedding party crowds into the hotel lobby — including the bride and groom — to watch the race," he said. "Everyone is just screaming. I'm going ballistic. We watched our horse make history."

continued

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Offline mystery-ak

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http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/06/07/another-belmont-bummer-no-triple-crown-for-california-chrome/

Another Belmont Bummer: Tonalist Spoils California Chrome’s Triple Crown Bid
June 7, 2014 7:10 PM



NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Thirty-six years and counting.

California Chrome became the latest Triple Crown contender to fall victim to the Belmont Stakes, as the 1 1/2-mile “Test of Champions” proved to be too much for the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner on Saturday.

Tonalist won the race with a strong run down the stretch. California Chrome finished in a dead heat for fourth.

The Belmont is the longest of the three races in the series. And, in many respects, the cruelest.

Only 11 horses have swept the three races, Affirmed the most recent in 1978. Since then, 13 horses — including California Chrome — have captured the first two legs without completing the equine hat trick.

California Chrome faced 10 rivals around “Big Sandy,” Belmont’s deep and often tiring track.

Co-owner Steve Coburn appeared irate during a televised interview after the race, criticizing those who skipped the Derby or Preakness to stay fresh for Saturday.

“This is not fair to these horses,” said Coburn, adding he doesn’t believe he’ll ever see a Triple Crown winner in the current format. “This is a coward’s way out. … Our horse has a target on its back.”

Tonalist’s owner declined to comment on Coburn’s rant during a post-race interview.

It was a smooth run for the chestnut colt through the first two legs of the Triple Crown. His backstory — owned by a couple of working stiffs who spent $8,000 on a mare they bred to a stallion for $2,500 — earned him a legion of fans who loved to cheer for the underdog.

His owners were called “dumb asses” by a trainer for buying a mare who gave no indication that she could produce a standout offspring who could run fast. California Chrome parlayed trouble-free trips in the Derby and the Preakness into victories, setting the stage for a possible sweep.

But it wasn’t to be for the odds-on favorite.

“The horse is doing great,” assistant trainer Alan Sherman said leading up to the race. “I couldn’t ask anything more from him.”

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Offline jmyrlefuller

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Only 11 horses have swept the three races, Affirmed the most recent in 1978. Since then, 13 horses — including California Chrome — have captured the first two legs without completing the equine hat trick.

California Chrome faced 10 rivals around “Big Sandy,” Belmont’s deep and often tiring track.
Do you know how many opponents the last two Triple Crown winners faced?

Four each.

The fact is, they don't want another Triple Crown winner. They want the hype that a Triple Crown can be won in this day and age, giving it the illusion of it being a legitimate, achievable feat. Unless they cut back to the five-horse format of the 1970s, they will never get another Triple Crown.

Of course, the state of New York knows that and they know every time a horse wins the Derby and Preakness, they are bound to make money off the OTB suckers knowing full well that horse is going to lose Round 3.
"Just because people in positions of authority are stupid, it doesn’t mean you have to go along with it." —Arlo Guthrie

"In the excitement of great popular elections, deciding the policy of the country, and its vast patronage, frauds will be committed, if a chance is given for them." —Richard Henry Dana, Jr.

Offline flowers

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Do you know how many opponents the last two Triple Crown winners faced?

Four each.

The fact is, they don't want another Triple Crown winner. They want the hype that a Triple Crown can be won in this day and age, giving it the illusion of it being a legitimate, achievable feat. Unless they cut back to the five-horse format of the 1970s, they will never get another Triple Crown.

Of course, the state of New York knows that and they know every time a horse wins the Derby and Preakness, they are bound to make money off the OTB suckers knowing full well that horse is going to lose Round 3.
Did not know that info. Thanks.



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