California Chrome Gets Jock-blocked in Penn. Derby
In his first race since Belmont, the 2014 Double Crown winner (we’re coining all sorts of new racing terms today!) couldn’t get out from behind the heels of Bayern.
Chrome was the odds-on favorite in the field of eight and the grandstands were packed with fans eager to witness his comeback. As Kristen Kovatch noted last week in her preview of the race, hopes were high for the bright chestnut who grabbed the nation’s attention earlier this year: “Chrome has put back on the weight he had dropped in the grueling Triple Crown chase and recovered from his grabbed quarter out of the gate at the Belmont. When the colt returned to his old stall at Los Alamitos for training, crowds gathered just to watch his workouts, showing that the ‘Chromies’ still have faith in their horse.”
Unfortunately, victory wasn’t in the cards. After drawing the unfavorable No. 1 post position and finding himself boxed in for much of the race, he ran out of steam in the stretch to finish in sixth. Jockey Victor Espinoza said after the race, “They were like blocking in front of me, and it was hard to catch the other horse. Sometimes the other ones don’t ride to win, they ride to beat horses.”
Bayern, ridden by Martin Garcia, pulled away in the stretch to win by 5 3/4 lengths and set a new track record
Watch the race:
JOIN THE DISCUSSION: Kristen raised the interesting question, “What do you think — is Chrome going to make a comeback this year or do you think he’s had his day?” in the Racing Forum over at Equestrians Anonymous. Check it out and weigh in with your opinion!
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