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California Chrome wins 140th Kentucky Derby

California Dreamin'

By BETH HARRIS
AP Racing Writer

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A horse with a humble pedigree. A couple of working stiff owners. A 77-year-old trainer with his first Kentucky Derby horse.

Even Hollywood couldn't have made this up.

California Chrome made it look easy on Saturday, pulling away down the stretch to win the Derby by 1 3/4 lengths.

Art Sherman became the oldest trainer to win the Derby, 57 years after he traveled from California as an exercise rider for Derby winner Swaps. He watched that race from the barn area; this time he smelled red roses in the winner's circle.

"It's been a long haul," Sherman said, smiling. "I'm just the same old Art Sherman, except I won the Kentucky Derby."

California Chrome ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.66 and paid $7, $5.60 and $4.20. The chestnut colt was sent off as the 5-2 favorite by the crowd of 164,906, the second-largest in the Derby's 140-year history.

In a sport dominated by wealthy owners and regally bred horses from Kentucky's bluegrass country, this was a victory for the little guys. Owners Perry Martin and Steve Coburn bred an $8,000 mare to a $2,500 stallion to produce the winner of the world's most famous race with their one-horse stable.

"This is just a dream come true and a great birthday present,'" said Coburn, who turned 61 on Saturday.

California Chrome extended his winning streak to five races by a combined 26 lengths. It was the second Derby win for Espinoza, who rode War Emblem to victory in 2002.

"I thought he rode him perfect," said Sherman, a former jockey. "I was riding the last 70 yards with Victor, so I think he was riding two. He had a lot of weight on him, I can tell you that."

Espinoza had California Chrome sitting comfortably in third in the 19-horse field as Uncle Sigh and Chitu set the early pace.

California Chrome made his move on the final turn in tandem with Samraat. It looked like those two would decide the outcome, until California Chrome sped away to become the first California-bred to win the Derby since Decidedly in 1962.

Commanding Curve, a 37-1 shot, rallied for second, with Danza third. Wicked Strong was fourth and Samraat finished fifth.

Commanding Curve returned $31.80 and $15.40, giving trainer Dallas Stewart his second straight runner-up finish with a double-digit longshot. Danza, named for actor Tony Danza of "Who's the Boss?" fame, paid $6 to show.

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Kate May 03 2014 at 7:15 PM

I would have been a lot happier if I could actually have SEEN the race, laugh-- the computer and or NBC froze not long after the first turn. But it certainly sounds as if the owners of Chrome have been well paid back for their efforts to keep the colt. I congratulate them.

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Karin May 03 2014 at 7:23 PM

who cares, i am sure the horse does not .......

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3 replies
ramirezbea May 03 2014 at 7:22 PM

Did the "little guys" step on the Millionaires and billionaires' toes; oops! Sorta like in 2009.

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wk2hrd May 03 2014 at 7:21 PM

Beautiful horse. Wish I could have seen the race. Good luck to them in the future. Maybe a Triple Crown winner?

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Ruth May 03 2014 at 7:20 PM

Oh that is wonderful

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alftugteaz May 03 2014 at 7:20 PM

We won at our bar.

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c21poinset May 04 2014 at 12:54 PM

A truly dishonest headline- just to make a "little guy defeats the rich" story. Hunble pedigree, my butt...his great-grandfather on one side was Seattle Slew, and the grandfather was A.P.Indy, both great horses. Look it up. I'm glad these guys took a chance and won big- but the bloodlines tell a story.

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1 reply
GrayhorsefanJanicela c21poinset May 04 2014 at 8:21 PM

You're a moron. Who looks at great grandfather??

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2 replies
GrayhorsefanJanicela GrayhorsefanJanicela May 04 2014 at 8:23 PM

Seattle Slew the great grandfather. Yeah, this horse and a million others. Anyone who knows anything about pedigrees know you look at sire, dam and possible dam sire-- that's it. The sire and dam of California Chrome were nothing to speak of. Neither one of them should have been bred, so YES--humble pedigree is correct.

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lilyccr GrayhorsefanJanicela May 04 2014 at 9:22 PM

Anyonne that knows anything about breeding a great race horse thats who looks at the greatgrand sires.

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springfieldranch May 03 2014 at 7:35 PM

Sherman so deserves this. He is a true horse person who puts the horse first. I am proud to know him.

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mpunfun May 03 2014 at 7:18 PM

I like it that the little guys took home the Derby!

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velk May 03 2014 at 7:33 PM

That's real horse racing. Fresh blood. I hope thought went into soundness as well as speed. To many of these wonderful animals die because the are bred for speed and speed alone. To many break down before the hit 3 yrs old. 25 a month is to many, and just to sad.

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