Sunday, May 3, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

California Chrome chases history in Belmont Stakes

By
From page B1 | June 07, 2014 |

Belmont Stakes Horse Racing

Exercise rider Willie Delgado gallops California Chrome around the track during a workout at Belmont Park, Friday, June 6, 2014, in Elmont, N.Y. The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner will attempt to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978 when he races in the146th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race on Saturday. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

NEW YORK — California Chrome is 1 1/2 miles away from ending the longest drought in racing history — 36 years without a Triple Crown winner.

Eleven horses as good or better than him have tried to complete the sweep in the Belmont Stakes and failed since 1978. The chestnut colt with the modest pedigree and self-described “dumb ass” owners can either make history Saturday or become just another near-miss.

“I’ve watched the other horses where they failed,” California Chrome trainer Art Sherman said. “I don’t know if they just got flat outrun or got tired from the Triple Crown races.”

California Chrome and 10 rivals will run the longest race of their lives on Belmont Park’s deep, sandy track with its sweeping turns. No other Triple Crown winner faced more than seven rivals.

“I feel more confident coming into this race than I did any race,” said Sherman, who at 77 is overseeing the best horse of his career. “I’m getting pumped up.”

California Chrome completed his final run-through on Friday, galloping two miles around the Belmont oval after visiting the paddock where he will be saddled on race day. He stood quietly in stall No. 2 before walking through the tunnel toward the track, pausing several times for photographers. His ears pricked at the sound of clicking cameras.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner will jog again early Saturday, about 13 hours before he tries to become the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown.

Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito, whose horses spoiled Triple Crown bids in 2004 and 2008, said that how California Chrome handles the extra quarter-mile in the Belmont will be crucial to his chances.

“Smarty Jones was in front going a mile and a quarter, and that last quarter of a mile got him,” Zito said. “It’s a different race. It’s just longer.”

If there’s one worry Sherman has, it’s whether his chestnut colt with four white socks can run that far after a tough campaign of three big races in five weeks.

“One thing I always wonder about is stamina,” Sherman said. “It could be walking pace the first part of it. All of a sudden, the guys kicking in the last part don’t get there.”

Ultimately, Sherman will leave the decision-making to Victor Espinoza, who saw his bid for a Triple Crown aboard War Emblem end in defeat at the 2002 Belmont. He and California Chrome have teamed to win six consecutive races.

“He gets him to relax. I never give him any instructions,” Sherman said. “I’m sure there will be different tactics, but that’s OK as long as Victor can have a spot where he can run the last quarter of a mile.”

Racing has been aching for another Triple Crown champion since Affirmed became the third horse in the 1970s to sweep the Derby, Preakness and Belmont. California Chrome and his team would be welcome members of the exclusive club if the colt can pull it off in front of a crowd expected to top 100,000.

“It has to be a super horse to win that,” Espinoza said.

Owners Steve Coburn and Perry Martin have shown that a couple of working stiffs who spent $8,000 on a mare they bred to a stallion for $2,500 can trump the sport’s blue blood owners and breeders. They were called “dumb asses” by a trainer for buying a mare who gave no indication that she could produce a standout offspring who could run fast.

“This horse has given everybody else out there the incentive to say, ‘You know what, we can do it, too,'” Coburn said. “This horse is letting America know that the little guy can win.”

Coburn — who favors a silver belt buckle as big as his cream-colored cowboy hat — and Martin — who likes keeping a low-profile — showed their sense of humor in naming their racing operation Dumb Ass Partners and sticking a donkey on their silks.

Martin was the one who emailed Sherman with an audacious plan to get California Chrome to the Kentucky Derby — before he had even run a race. Now the colt is one win away from racing immortality.

“You just like to see a great horse win it and I think he’s got the potential to be a great horse,” said Patrice Wolfson, whose late husband owned Affirmed, “so we’ll be cheering for him.”

As much as Sherman wants California Chrome to win — the trainer will wear the same lucky suit he did at the Derby and Preakness — he can accept a loss, too.

“He doesn’t have to win another race as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “It’s a pleasure to be around a horse that has so much class and is 100 percent healthy.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Fairfield industrial sector remains hot

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: C1

 
Home tour symphony benefit boasts 6 special abodes

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: D1

Solano County to add War on Terror names to memorial

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
3rd-graders study nature at Fairfield park

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Pros have tough time with financial news

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: C1

Smoke-free policy back before Board of Supervisors

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1

 
Colliers releases Solano-Napa commercial real estate report

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: C1 | Gallery

Calico’s legacy lives on to this day

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
I’m asking for your forgiveness

By Steve Kiefer | From Page: D2

 
Library continues spring book sale

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Vacaville library plans Cinco de Mayo event

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Knitters group about to start in Vacaville

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Sacramento rally to support child advocacy

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Cordelia Garage Sale brings out best treasures

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Snow Mountain hike set on Mother’s Day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Airmen from Vacaville finish basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: C4

 
Band festival brings sweet music to downtown Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
CASA of Solano seeks volunteers

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A13

 
Public hearing set before Mental Health Advisory Board

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A13

.

US / World

Britain says hello to newest princess

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
‘Be Kind to Animals’ celebrates 100 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: D6

 
NYPD officer in critical condition after shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Drop out thinks he can get you a tech industry job

By Bloomberg News | From Page: A9

 
Damage soars as Oakland demonstrations turn violent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

Japanese PM sees ‘alliance of hope’ with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Plans are at odds over fate of medical marijuana

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

‘Huggy’ returns to Capitol after 12-year hiatus

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Sea Lion found wandering the streets of SF

By Bloomberg News | From Page: A11

Lincoln’s hometown re-enact his funeral

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Planned march turns into ‘victory rally’ in Baltimore

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Portman doing balancing act with re-election, trade

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Need for cybersecurity experts met by trend in cyber camps

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

ISIS kills 25 captive Yazidis in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Pope Francis set to name Serra a saint in DC ceremony

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

.

Living

Today in history: Sunday, May 3, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
US colleges bringing in chaplains to serve the nonbelievers

By The Associated Press | From Page: D2Comments are off for this post | Gallery

Community Calendar: May 3, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Love Your Lines: stretch marks go viral in support of women

By The Associated Press | From Page: D4

My 67-year-old husband won’t stop viewing porn on his computer

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D4

 
Crabapples come in many varieties (some aren’t even crabby)

By The Associated Press | From Page: D4 | Gallery

Horoscope: May 3, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D4

 
.

Entertainment

Illness memoir ‘The Iceberg’ wins Wellcome Book Prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

T. Coraghessan Boyle wins $30,000 for short story writing

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

 
On his list: John Oates of Hall & Oates has book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: C5

 
.

Sports

Mayweather wins unanimous decision over Pacquiao

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders head to Travis AFB for Day 3 of NFL Draft

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Favorite American Pharoah rallies to win Kentucky Derby

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Grizzlies, Warriors ready to meet in conference semifinals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Posey, Crawford homer in Giants’ 5-4 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers fortify offense on third day of draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Murray wins twice for BMW Open final against Kohlschreiber

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jeff Gordon leads Hendrick in pole-winning run at Talladega

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Kreider’s early goal leads Rangers over Capitals in Game 2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Thompson ricochets to share of LPGA Tour lead with Park

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Joey Logano uses big block on last lap to win Xfinity race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Yankees say they don’t plan to pay home run bonus to A-Rod

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders fill more holes on final day of draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Odor’s RBI single in 10th lifts Rangers past A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Michael Allen leads Champions Tour’s Insperity Invitational

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Paul lifts Clippers past Spurs, 111-109 in Game 7

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

McIlroy in a fight with Casey until darkness gets in the way

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

Starbucks breakdown shows how registers have evolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Offshore wind energy sector off to slow start in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Recalls this week: Kaleidoscope toys, batteries

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
A chip off the old Croc: The return of the ugly shoe

By Bloomberg News | From Page: C3 | Gallery

 
US seeks to compensate victims of Sudan, Iran and Cuba

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Review: Getting your Apple Watch? Here’s how to use it

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
.

Obituaries

Fred L. Kirk

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

 
Marcello T Gemignani

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

Lois Geraldine Johnston

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A13

 
Sherman Elwood

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

George Benjamin Kimes Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

 
Gerald Mc Devitt

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

.

Comics

.

Summer Sunsational 2015

Solano County Fair: Something for everyone

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM6

Oldest parade marches to oldest fair in California

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM10

Get ready to get down to the music at Dixon fair

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM13

Cars, cars and more cars

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM18

Farmers markets, produce stands offer regional bounty

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM19

Golf, anyone? Lots to choose from

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM20

More wine! Solano offers much to tease the palate

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM22

Get back to nature across Solano County

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM23

Mondavi Center brings world-class performances to region

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM29

Go behind the scene on Anheuser-Busch brewery tours

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM30

Jelly Belly Candy Co. offers more than just candies

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM31

Try your luck at area casinos

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM37

Fair fun continues during summer in Napa

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM45