Photo: Melanie Martines
The Great Race Place at Santa Anita Park was filled with excitement and anticipation as fans carried the hope for it's Cal-bred California Chrome to capture the last leg of the Triple Crown. Thirty-six years in-the-waiting, fans came out to support the horse we all love. Everywhere you looked there were Triple Chrome signs, stickers on little kids; even adults shared in on the fun. The Chrome Zone was an area dedicated to the Chromies, and adults and kids of all ages were getting in on some fun with air-brushed tattoos! People dressed in purple, wore pins to support the "People's Horse", and Santa Anita Race track was rocking with fans filling the seats.
This was Santa Anita's first-ever experience as a live racing partner on Belmont Stakes Day and it was a huge success! Energy filled the race track with an on-track crowd of 31,208. It was a contagious feeling as we waited in anticipation in hopes that California Chrome would be the next Triple Crown winner. It was an amazing feeling to be amongst Chromie fans!
Here are some #Chromies showing their love:
Enter into the "Chrome Zone":
Fans getting air-brushed tattoos:
Every pony horse showed their support by wearing a nasal strip and a Chrome sticker ("Lucky" is day-dreaming about Chrome's Triple Crown journey)!
The product of an $8000 mare, Love The Chase, and an unknown sire named, Lucky Pulpit , California Chrome developed a dedicated fan base known as the "Chromies", notably called the "People's Horse" he made us laugh and touched all of our hearts.
Thank you, California Chrome, Victor Espinoza, and to ALL his connections for giving racing fans everywhere a thrilling ride. You brought light back into the horse racing world, and your rags-to-riches story is something that will continue to amaze us. Your big heart, and will to win made us love you even more!
Although the perfect ending did not take place; this magical horse showed us that dreams can come true even when things appear to be doubtful.
It's been an incredible journey "Junior" and this is only the beginning of another journey... Rest up, and we'll be looking forward to seeing you soon!