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Chrome Draws Well For Derby

Friday, 2nd May 2014

Meanwhile, Kentucky Derby favourite California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit-Love the Chase, by Not for Love) has drawn perfectly in barrier five for Saturday's Run for the Roses, reports bloodhorse.com. California Chrome, who has won six of his 10 starts and is coming off a win in the Gr1 Santa Anita Derby, will be attempting to become the first California-bred winner of the Derby since Decidedly in 1962. His 77YO trainer, Art Sherman, would also rewrite history becoming the oldest trainer to win the Derby, surpassing the legendary Charlie Whittingham who won his second Derby with Sunday Silence in 1989 at age 76. Sherman said he was delighted with the draw. "I like that he has some speed horses to his inside," Sherman said. "That way he can just sort of sit in there and then float into that first turn. I could see us right in behind the leaders and be in the clear down the backside." He added, "If Victor [jockey Victor Espinoza] could get him in the clear near the three-eighths pole, I think we'll have a big chance." Coincidentally, Espinoza won the 2002 Kentucky Derby aboard War Emblem after breaking from post 5. "I think it's great. No. 5 seems like a lucky number for me," Espinoza said. Since 1900, barriers 1 and 5 have been the most successful producing 12 winners, but no one has won the Derby from the outside barrier since Ferdinand in 1986. That is the unenviable statistic that Gr1 Wood Memorial Stakes winner Wicked Strong (Hard Spun) will have to overcome after drawing the far outside 20 post. "It's better than the '1' but not a whole lot," said trainer Jimmy Jerkens. "He's just going to have to work his way down a little bit." He added, "At least he's got a nice long run down the stretch and it looks like the speed should be in a nice clump where he can draft in behind them, so it might work out a better trip than we think. It'll be tricky, that's for sure."

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