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Rags To Riches

Posted by on 5/6/2014 10:19:47 PM

They call this game the Sport of Kings but online sports betting site players were treated to a victory for the little guy on Saturday when California Chrome shocked royalty to earn glory in the Kentucky Derby.

Since being freshened last year from November 1 to December 22, this colt just grew out and matured big time.

In that December 22 return the sophomore went from being 4th after a half mile to in front with a furlong to go by 3 and a half-lengths before winning his second career stakes.

That signature quick move, when California Chrome opens up at the top of the lane, has just continued to be more impressive.

He did the same thing in his 2014 opener opening up a 5 and half-length lead in the Cal Cup Derby before eventually winning by the same margin.

Bet like a cinch in the San Felipe next out, he proved he was the real deal as he had 4 and a half lengths at the top of the lane and they won by over 7. In the Santa Anita Derby he extended by a quarter of a length late to win by over 5 after having a clear lead turning for home.

The same move was used on the Kentucky Derby but California Chrome lost a little ground at crunch time.

Much has been made of California Chrome???s pedigree and how in the world has he been able to win at a mile and a quarter?

His sire Lucky Pulpit was sprint only but was beaten just a length and a half in a Grade 2 going 8 and a half furlongs.

California Chrome???s dam graduated at a mile in her only win and she was extending late in that race to cash by 3 and a half lengths in a maiden $8,000 claimer.

The Derby winner???s co-owners bought the dam for $8,000 and they bred her to Lucky Pulpit for a $2,000 stud fee. Here is where it gets interesting. If you go deep in California Chrome???s background, there are stamina influences.

California Chrome???s dam Love the Chase is out of Chase It Down, who did not produce a stakes winner but is a half sister to Amourette, who twice won stakes at a mile and three-eighths.

Take it another step and as co-owner Steve Coburn explained after the Derby California Chrome is inbred to Swaps, who won the Kentucky Derby in 1955, was also a California-bred and his exercise rider was Art Sherman.

That is the same Sherman who is the trainer of California Chrome.

The owners turned down $6 million for California Chrome and that was before his biggest victory.

There have been some other successful Kentucky Derby winners that have not cost a ton of money. Remember Seattle Slew only cost $17,000, but the success of California Chrome adds a whole new chapter to the underdog theory.

Sometimes it pays off to go the extra yard in this game and dig a little deeper to find those elusive winners.

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