California Chrome was installed as a 3-5 favorite to win Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, so obviously the oddsmakers think the Kentucky Derby winner is highly likely to take the second leg of the Triple Crown. And, of course, one would expect his owners to be extremely confident, especially after drawing a favorable post position. However, the degree of confidence expressed by co-owner Steve Coburn Wednesday was more than a little eyebrow-raising:
“If he holds his position, I think we got this pretty well sewed up here. . . . It is a dream coming true. I knew this horse would win the Kentucky Derby. And I’ve got a strong feeling he’s going to win the Preakness. I’ve got something within me that I feel, and I can’t explain it.”
So, yeah, that first sentence would seem to reflect a “strong feeling,” all right. He does qualify it by starting with, “If he holds his position,” but follows that with the showstopper: “I think we got this pretty well sewed up here.” Well, then. I guess we can just go ahead and spend the weekend looking ahead to the Belmont, and wondering if California Chrome can complete the first Triple Crown since 1978.
It remains to be seen if Coburn’s confidence-bordering-on-certitude will prove correct, but I know one thing — when the other horses see that quote posted on the stable’s bulletin board, they are NOT going to be happy.