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California Chrome Wins US Gr1 Kentucky Derby
At Churchill Downs in the US, in front of 165,000 fans, 3YO colt California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit-Love The Chase, by Not For Love) pulled clear in the stretch to score a memorable 1.75-lengths victory for trainer Art Sherman in the US$2 million Gr1 Kentucky Derby (10 furlongs) for 3YOs, over 3YO ridgling Commanding Curve (Master Command-Mother, by Lion Hearted) & fellow 3YO colt Danza (Street Boss-Champagne Royale, by French Deputy). The modestly bred California Chrome became the first California-bred horse in 52 years to win the Kentucky Derby, and just the fourth ever. The victory was an historic one too for California Chrome's affable trainer Art Sherman who, at age 77, became the oldest trainer to win the Derby. Sherman's last brush with Derby fame was as an 18YO when track work rider for Swaps, another California-bred chestnut colt, who beat the outstanding Nashua to wear the garland of roses in 1955. "I visited Swaps' grave the other day and said a little prayer, and it came true," Sherman said of California Chrome's win. "He [California Chrome] gave me the biggest thrill I've ever had in my life. It was a picture-perfect ride. He was right where he should have been all the way around. Coming down the stretch I was thinking: 'Keep rollin' big boy. Keep rollin'. To be my age and have something like this happen, what can you say?" he told bloodhorse.com. California Chrome took his record to 7 wins (including the Gr1 Santa Anita Derby) and 1 placing from 11 starts for US$2,552,650 earnings.