California Chrome made 3-5 favorite for Belmont

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California Chrome Draws No. 2 Post


By BETH HARRIS
AP Racing Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- California Chrome became the 3-5 early favorite on Wednesday to win the Belmont Stakes and become horse racing's 12th Triple Crown champion.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner will break from the No. 2 post under Victor Espinoza on Saturday at Belmont Park. Eleven Belmont winners have come out of that post, the last being Tabasco Cat in 1994.

California Chrome will be listed No. 2 in the betting program, the same number as 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat, who won the Belmont by a record 31 lengths while setting a track record for the 1 1/2-mile race that still stands.

Wicked Strong was the 6-1 second choice and drew post No. 9. The colt finished fourth after an unlucky trip in the Derby, sat out the Preakness and comes into the Belmont off a five-week rest.

Tonalist was made the third betting choice at 8-1 odds and will break from the No. 11 post. The colt has experienced on the track, having won the Peter Pan Stakes, although he is new to the Triple Crown trail.

Ride On Curlin, the 12-1 fourth choice, and 20-1 shot General a Rod are the only other horses besides California Chrome who will have run in all three legs of the Triple Crown.

Eleven horses were entered to take on California Chrome in his bid to win the Triple Crown for the first time since Affirmed swept the Derby, Preakness and Belmont in 1978.

Commanding Curve, second in the Derby, was listed at 15-1. Four horses were at 20-1: Commissioner, General a Rod, Medal Count (eighth in the Derby) and Samraat (fifth in the Derby).

Matterhorn and Matuszak, both new to the Triple Crown series, were listed at 30-1.

California Chrome made 3-5 favorite for Belmont
"Say hello to my little friend." —@CalChrome http://t.co/RAtj6kYtsT http://t.co/b7JMBqc7Al
ELMONT, NY - MAY 20: Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome arrives at Belmont Park led by assistant trainer Alan Sherman on May 20, 2014 in Elmont, New York. He is scheduled to race for the Triple Crown in the 146th running of the Belmont stakes (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
ELMONT, NY - MAY 20: Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome stands outside his stall after arriving at Belmont Park on May 20, 2014 in Elmont, New York. He is scheduled to race for the Triple Crown in the 146th running of the Belmont stakes (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 14: Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome gets a bath following a morning workout in preparation for the 139th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 14, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Soapy water falls from Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome as he gets bathed after a workout at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Thursday, May 15, 2014. The Preakness Stakes horse race is scheduled to take place May 17. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
FILE - MAY 19, 2014: It was reported that the New York Racing Association approved the use of a nasal breathing strip on the horse California Chrome as he tries for a Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness May 19, 2014.
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 17: Victor Espinoza celebrates atop California Chrome #3 after winning the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Horses leave the starting gate during the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 3, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Victor Espinoza rides California Chrome around turn four to a victory during the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 3, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Victor Espinoza celebrates after riding California Chrome to victory during the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 3, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Victor Espinoza rides California Chrome to victory during the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 3, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
FILE - In this Saturday, May 17, 2014 file photo, California Chrome, center, ridden by Victor Espinoza, Pablo Del Monte, right, ridden by Jeffrey Sanchez, and Ria Antonia, left, ridden by Calvin Borel, race to the first turn during the 139th Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Coursein Baltimore. California Chrome might abandon his Triple Crown bid if New York officials do not allow the colt to wear a nasal strip in the Belmont Stakes. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky), File
Jockey Victor Espinoza, center, aboard California Chrome, celebrates after winning the 139th Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Baltimore. Ride On Curlin, left, ridden by Joel Rosario, finished second. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
California Chrome, right, ridden by jockey Victor Espinoza, heads to the finish line ahead of Ride on Curlin, ridden by Joel Rosario, to win the 139th Preakness Stakes horse race a Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 17: California Chrome #3, ridden by Victor Espinoza, races during the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Molly Riley/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 17: California Chrome #3, ridden by Victor Espinoza, races accross the finishline to win the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 17: California Chrome #3, ridden by Victor Espinoza, races accross the finishline to win the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 17: California Chrome #3, ridden by Victor Espinoza, races accross the finishline to win the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 17: California Chrome #3, ridden by Victor Espinoza, races accross the finishline to win the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - May 17: California Chrome with jockey Victor Espinoza breaks his move on the fourth turn to pull away and win the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17, 2014 in Baltimore, MD. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 17: California Chrome #3, ridden by Victor Espinoza, races with the field during the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
California Chrome powers around the fourth turn in the 139th Preakness Stakes at Pilmico Race Course in Baltimore on Saturday, May 17, 2014. California Chrome won, setting up a shot at the first Triple Crown since 1978. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty Images)
California Chrome (3) makes a good start out of the starting gate, but Bayern, second from left, ridden by jockey Rosie Napravnik, is low and recovers too late in the 139th Preakness Stakes at Pilmico Race Course in Baltimore on Saturday, May 17, 2014. California Chrome won, setting up a shot at the first Triple Crown since 1978. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 17: Owner of California Chrome Steve Coburn celebrates in the winner's circle with jockey Victor Espinoza after winning the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 17: Victor Espinoza celebrates atop California Chrome #3 with assistant trainer Alan Sherman after winning the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 17: California Chrome #3, ridden by Victor Espinoza, crosses the finishline to win the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 17: California Chrome #3, ridden by Victor Espinoza, crosses the finishline to win the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Jim Dietz/Getty Images)
Assistant trainer Alan Sherman, left, leads exercise rider Willie Delgado and California Chrome onto the track at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., Wednesday, May 21, 2014. California Chrome arrived in New York on Tuesday to begin preparations for his bid to become horse racing's first Triple Crown winner in 36 years. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
California Chrome, center, ridden by Victor Espinoza, Pablo Del Monte, right, ridden by Jeffrey Sanchez, and Ria Antonia, left, ridden by Calvin Borel, race to the first turn during the 139th Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Baltimore. California Chrome won the race. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
The field breaks from the starting gate in the 139th Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Baltimore. California Chrome, third from right, ridden by jockey Victor Espinoza, won the race. ( (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
California Chrome, ridden by jockey Victor Espinoza, wins the 139th Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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