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Polishing Them Off

Posted by on 5/5/2014 9:58:38 PM

The word on the street is that horse racing is a dead sport but as most online sports betting site players know that is not true and the 164,906 attendees of the Kentucky Derby Saturday also did not get the memo.

The fans were treated to a tour de force as California Chrome polished off his rivals in fine fashion. He sat third early 2 lengths off the pace, made a commanding move to open up a 5-length lead at the top of the lane, and held it together by a length and three quarters. He got the mile and a quarter in 2:03. 66.

He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 97.

Once again it was that burst of speed that allowed Chrome to put his rivals to sleep at the top of the lane. He may also have just gotten bored when waiting on horses but still had plenty left in the tank.

Not many horses can win at 4 and half furlongs and at a mile and quarter. In recent years, horses were coddled coming to the Derby but not California Chrome. He had field-high 7 starts at 2 so he had the seasoning to fall back on.

As far as the pace was concerned California Chrome caught much softer splits than last year???s Derby winner Orb.

Chitu set the early pace getting the first quarter in :23.04. Uncle Sigh took over and had the lead after a half-mile was run in :47.37. He still had the lead after the 6 furlongs were run in 1:11.80 but by then California Chrome had made his move.

California Chrome led at the mile marker in 1:37.45.

Last year in the Derby Palace Malice got loose and it changed the complexion of the race. The splits in last year???s Derby was :22.57, :45.33, 1:09.80 and the mile was run in 1:36.16 before Orb was first at the wire in 2:02.89.

To put California Chrome???s final time in perspective, know that Secretariat ran the quickest Derby when he was timed in 1:59.40.

The next slowest Derby in recent years was 2:04.45 by Super Saver in 2010 but that race was run in the slop.

Smarty Jones won his Derby in 2:04.06, went on to win the Preakness was thwarted in his Triple Crown by Birdstone in the Belmont Stakes.

Several runners had eventful trips. Candy Boy was mugged on the first turn and lost all chance before finishing 13th. He had to take up sharply and was forced to steady to boot.

Wicked Strong ran into a traffic dam down the stretch but still got fourth. He was shut off at the 8th pole but still finished well considering everything that he encountered.

Ride on Curlin was out in post 19 and his rider Calvin Borel got him to the rail quickly, rallied the widest of all and finished 7th at 17-1.

Intense Holiday had his backers but he had no excuse. He was a tad wide but had dead aim and was just not good enough.

The Preakness will be run differently but with his positional speed, California Chrome should be in the thick of it once again.

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