California Chrome wins Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs
Last Updated: 04/05/14 12:14am
California Chrome: Kentucky Derby winner
California Chrome justified favouritism with an emphatic victory in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
The Art Sherman-trained colt comes from a humble background but he has been in impressive form on the track this year and there were few concerns as he notched his fifth successive win.
The son of Lucky Pulpit, who only cost around $10,000, was given a textbook ride by Victor Espinoza after breaking well from stall five.
Espinoza was content to sit in third place behind Uncle Sigh and Chitu before being sent to the front at the top of the home stretch.
California Chrome, who was sent off the 5/2 favourite, then quickened up well in the closing stages and passed the post comfortably clear of the staying-on pair Commanding Curve and Danza to win by a length-and-three-quarters in a time of 2:03.66.
Sherman becomes the oldest trainer to saddle a Kentucky Derby winner after taking the 140th edition at the age of 77.
"I tell you, he gave me the biggest thrill I ever had in my life," Sherman said.
California Chrome's owner, Steve Coburn, immediately said the chestnut colt would now be aimed at the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
"We'll see you all in Maryland and then we'll see you all in New York," he said.
Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan won the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic for the second straight year earlier on the card.
The Charlie LoPresti-trained seven-year-old gelding, who has twice won the Breeders’ Cup Mile, edged out Seek Again by a neck in the hands of John Velazquez to take his winning record to 13 from 14 on turf.