California Chrome wins the Kentucky Derby with 2-1 odds


LOUISVILLE, KY – MAY 03: California Chrome #5, ridden by Victor Espinoza, crosses the finish line to win the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 3, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

He wasn’t leading the whole time, but in the end, California Chrome, the colt of an $8,000 mare and a $2,500 stallion, ran away from the pack on the stretch to win the 140th Kentucky Derby. Of course, this comes as no surprise statistically. Going in, the horse’s odds kept getting better, jumping from 5/2 at the post draw earlier this week to 2-1 right before he broke from the gates.

“He gave me the biggest thrill I ever had in my life,” Art Sherman, California Chrome’s trainer, told NBC after the race.

“All I gotta say is, do you nonbelievers believe this horse now? And believe this man can train a horse [referring to Sherman]? Because if you don’t, you need to have your head examined,” said Steve Coburn, who owns California Chrome with Perry Martin. “It’s a dream come true,” Coburn, who was also celebrating his birthday, told NBC. The $1 million-plus prize is a pretty good present.

Commanding Curve earned the second spot, and Danza, the horse named after actor Tony Danza, landed in third.

Derby attendees Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers seemed pretty happy about it all.

As to what’s next for California Chrome, Coburn said he aims to win the Triple Crown. “We’ll see you all in Maryland. And then we’ll see you all in New York!” he told NBC.

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.
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