Daily News Archive
Daily News Subscription
Past Triple Crown Winners Give Chrome Thumbs Up
The connections of legendary racehorses Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Affirmed believe that California Chrome has what it takes to become the next winner of the US Triple Crown when he lines up in the Belmont Stakes on 7 June, reports bloodhorse.com. It's been 36 years since a horse swept all three legs of the Triple Crown, with Affirmed the last horse to achieve the feat in 1978. Patrice Wolfson, who owned Affirmed with her late husband Lou, feels that after 12 failed attempts since 1978, it's time to let go of the title 'Last Triple Crown Winner.' "I think I'm about ready to give up the title," Wolfson said. "I just want to see a great horse do it and California Chrome has the potential to be a great horse. So, I'm rooting for him." She added, "Of the 12 horses who have attempted it since Affirmed, he has the best chance because he's unique. He has that something special..." Penny Chenery, owner of Secretariat, who recorded one of the most memorable wins in sporting history when scoring by 31-lengths in the 1973 Belmont Stakes, said she wasn't going to attend the Belmont, but has had a change of heart. "I'm getting up there in years and wasn't going to go, but if this horse wins the Triple Crown I want to be there," she said. "I would welcome it." Seattle Slew's trainer Billy Turner, who is stabled at Belmont, has been watching California Chrome and has also been impressed with what he has seen. "He's such a nice horse," Turner said. "He goes out there, jogs off, gallops around, and does whatever they want him to do. He stops and notices the crowds and just seems to enjoy what he's doing. Nothing excites him...he's proven already he's the dominant horse in the 3-year-old ranks and he would have to be unlucky not to win the Belmont." So California Chrome has the endorsement of all the Triple Crown-winning connections. Now he just has to go out and do what the last dozen Kentucky Derby-Preakness winners were unable to do and write that elusive next chapter in the history books. Watch Affirmed's 1978 Belmont win below.