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Two Down

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 5/20/2014 2:17:27 AM

The say in the National Basketball Association that closing out a series is one of the toughest things to do and all online sports betting site players know the same can be said about the Triple Crown.

It’s now 2 down and one to go for California Chrome, rider Victor Espinoza and his trainer Art Sherman to earn that elusive trifecta in the sky.

Once again, they say this sport is dead on arrival but the Maryland crowd was not aware of it as 123,469 showed up on Preakness Day. And they bet as the handled increased by 8.3%.

Visually impressive, a lot of runners took shots at California Chrome but like Bruce Willis, he was the last man standing.

California Chrome had to be hard used to gain position early and he had to start his winning run with a half-mile to go when Social Inclusion made a preemptive move. At that point Ride on Curlin picked up the chased and he finished well under Joel Rosario while over 6 lengths clear of Inclusion.

California Chrome has been compared to Swaps, another California-bred that won the Kentucky Derby and a horse that Sherman was the exercise rider for but the comparison ends there for now as Swaps at one time held 6 world records.

As far as the time is concerned, California Chrome’s Preakness final time of 1:54.84 was solid. Last year’s winner Oxbow was clocked in 1:57.54 and I’ll Have Another ran a full second slower in 2012. Curlin was the only runner in the last 9 years that ran faster as he got the Preakness distance in 1:54.46 and the next fastest to that time came way back in 1998 when Real Quiet was clocked in 1:54.60.

And even the late, great Secretariat didn’t run much faster as he was time in 1:54 1/5.

California Chrome earned?? 105 Beyer Speed Figure and that also stands up decently. Oxbow earned a 106 Beyer, I’ll Have Another recorded a 109 Beyer and Curlin peaked with a 111 figure.

Seventy-seven years young, Sherman has taken all of the hoopla pretty much in stride. And he seems confident his star will show up in 3 weeks at the Belmont, Sherman: “He broke great and had a perfect trip. He’s a remarkable horse to come back in two weeks and win. I know he’s not the only horse that ever did that, but it’s tough on a horse. I knew we had to run harder in this race. I was a little concerned. But I’ll tell you one thing: he’s a real racehorse. I’m hoping that the mile and a half is up his alley, too.

The race took a toll on the rider, Espinoza: “It was not easy, but we got it done. I had to start early, but when the outside horse attacked me, I had to open up at that point. This race was a little complicated. I have to steady, steady and I have to hope and make the right decision.”

The Belmont Stakes is on deck and that is a galloper’s race. This could be the first and last time that California Chrome will go a mile and a half. But a speed horse that can rate is always dangerous. Versatility is a nice thing to have in anything a person or a horse does and California Chrome has proved he can adapt.

Start now and get in that New York state of mind.

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