Race of the Week 2017

HRN Original Blog:
The Weekly Tout

California Chrome? You Won't Hear a Peep From Me


Every other contending three-year-old that I have bet on, drooled over, or that I thought was the next coming of Man of War, have all been defeated except, California Chrome. And I’m afraid to jinx him. So I won’t write about him.  I won’t tell you that California Chrome, since he has won his last four races in a convincing way, is getting all the attention as a pre-race favorite in the Kentucky Derby. I won’t mention that he is undefeated as a three year old, he spent his two-year-old campaign learning his craft with seven races and three wins. He’s big, meaty, and has looked scary good in races like the Santa Anita Derby, but you didn’t hear it from me.


The thing that I refuse to mention is this horse has taken off after the jockey change to Victor Espinoza that started with a whopping five length victory over the field in the King Glorious Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park at the end of 2013. Espinoza, 42 years old from Mexico, was on board the 2002 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem. Whether kismet or a smart business decision, with Espinoza in the irons, the horse moves in big ways, but you didn’t hear that from me either.


I refuse to utter that California Chrome’s team is headed by partners Steve Coburn and Perry Martin and is trained by 77 year old Art Sherman.  The DAP partnership is allegedly named after the decision to buy California Chromes dam, Love the Chase. The remark made about that decision was called a "dumb ass" move and an affiliation was formed known as Dumb Ass Partners (DAP). And adding to the legend is that the team’s emblem is a jackass. True? What do I know, I have locked my lips and have thrown away the key for fear of me being the one to blow it for the horse who has four white socks and a big, pretty blaze going down his face.  


What I will tell you is that history has not been a friend of California-bred Kentucky Derby winners. California Chrome is hoping to become the fourth Golden State bred winner in May’s biggest race, the last time was with the 1962 Derby winner Decidedly. I don’t want to be the reason that this horse has hit the skids just because I have given him a look see. I will say that he is impressive and should be a feared competitor, if I was going to say anything at all.


Pre-race Derby favorite? You won’t hear it from me, but this son of Lucky Pulpit is riding with the wind right now. Is he able to beat 19 other talented horses? Anything can happen and usually does with my money on the line, but Cali has already beaten some good horses. Can Espinoza bring it on home again? Espi is locked on to this rocket and I don’t think he’ll let go. These are questions that I won’t answer since I’m not writing about California Chrome. We’ll all have to wait and see. Don’t worry there is plenty to read about California Chrome here at Horse Racing Nation, I don’t want to jinx him.  Riders Up! 


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Older Comments about California Chrome? You Won't Hear a Peep From Me...

I don't think Chrome or anyone planning on hitting the board has to worry about Cairo Prince. I never liked him, and I don't think he'll win.
Will finish 4th.
CC will be the second place finisher....use him key in that spot in your derby Tris! Then around him put all the closers because he is certainly vulnerable!
One can't take times from Sunland seriously. At SA Chitu couldn't beat Candy Boy who was destroyed by CC
But remember people the tracks back east sometimes are deep and 1:47 reverts 5 lengths slower still giving California 5 length advantage and class...Hope Churchill keeps it even and fasts
animalkingdom137 - to put it in a different perspective Steve Haskins has Hoppetunity as his second choice for the Derby and both Watchmaker and Priman of the Daily Racing Form has Hoppertunity third and all give the horse kudos for losing by only five and a quarter lengths to California Chrome whom the jockey won ridden out. Just that analysis from those handicappers tells volumes.
The other 19 are all vulnerable also; not a very practical bet
Chitu also ran 1 1\8 in 1:47 and change so why is everyone ga ga about CC at this point..? let's go ga ga over Chitu instead!
I agree...2 seconds faster is the difference. Closers running their best race might catch him. CC should finish 1st or 2nd, otherwise bad post with some bumping should make for a handicapper's dream.
To who? Cairo Prince won't go that far, Vicar's In Trouble is too slow, Constitution broke his leg, Hoppertunity has already been beat by him along with Candy Boy, Chitu will get tired, Wicked Strong might make a race of it, Samraat's been beat, and Uncle Sigh is too busy watching his reality TV show.
If chromes runs like he has with out boncing, he should be fast enough to stalk any pace, lead if he needs to, and pull away so far that that last furlong that we all say he cant get, he should be able to gallop in and score a victory. Almost sounds too easy.
22.89/ 47.02 /110.81/ 135.03/ 147.52 At a 1 1/8 mile this horse is 2 seconds faster then any horse in the field
I don't think California Chrome has the right running style to win the Derby, but he could be so far out in front during the last furlong that he wins it geared down. I think Hopportunity has every right to improve again on Derby day, which makes him a contender, and Cairo Prince is still a monster talent to be afraid of. This Derby is interesting because of the pace scenario. How far back can Chrome stay so he's not scorched by the hot pace? Can he run from 5-6 lengths off with dirt kicking back into his face? Only time will tell, but he looms huge on the 1st Saturday in May
Your all wrong when you have the Prince John Seattle Slew cross it is devastating and Lucky Pulpit has it Lucky Mel was a speed sire but it seems that nick has been by passed and with great sires top and bottom with Numbered Account inbred this is maybe the Dream Horse we all been waiting for
Hey Dipak Roy, was wonderung when you'd show up! It has been a while! Dipak, his breeding doesn't say he can go a mile and a quarter, you're right, but he has been so much better than his competition that he could probably run his fastest mile and an eigth and then pulling up in the last eighth still be good enough to win
@dipak, you can always say that after the fact..huh..remember I'll Have Another is 20-1 before the derby and Cali Chrome will be the deserving post-time favorites to win it all.
California Chrome is not "I'ILL HAVE ANOTHER" ?? may win or may not win? I don't think Lucky Pulpit breed can stand 1-1/4 miles, i have a big doubt about it?
The California horses this year have not been strong in stamina. Hopportunity, Candy Boy, Chitu, Midnight hawk, and CC have all been suspect at 1 1/4. Most have been marginal at 1 1/8. Pedigree wise the most suspect has been CC. The talent is there with CC. But winning against stamina suspect types make me doubt he can deliever versus Wicked Strong, General A. Rod, Ride On curlin etc who are bred to handle the distance and also have shown some ability. Maybe he does a ala Smarty and stretches to 1 1/4 but count me as doubtful/
If he wins .... watch out Triple and hope he stays healthy...He was walking at the finish line his last start and it was the 2nd fastest running of the erby if Churchill keeps the track even not deep watch out

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Meet Johnnie Carrier


With 10 years of writing a humor column for his home town paper under his belt, Johnnie Carrier has decided to try something different. He is a graduate of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey’s Clown College Class of 1977 and traveled the West with Circus Vargas in 1979.

 In the 80’s, Carrier lived in New York City and Boston, but he settled down however in the smallest city in Massachusetts late in the decade and married Dawn Luskin in ’88. David was born in 1991 and has been blessed with his father’s sense of humor, but luckily his mother’s good looks.

 Racing has been more than a casual interest having lived so close to Saratoga. He started going to the track at a very young age with his parents and has tried to instill that passion into his son by taking him at the same age. In 2003, Carrier started to write as a freelance writer with the North Adams Transcript and can be followed there at the paper’s website.  


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