Hard to Go Against Chrome

If you’ve been on the California Chrome bandwagon, there’s no reason to jump off now. If you’re still looking for a way to beat him, there are some new faces and a few old ones who are coming into the Preakness Stakes the right way and could offer good value.

We’re all aware by now about the colt’s throat blister and the few coughs it triggered, which in turn set off a wave of panic that the Kentucky Derby winner had some issue that could potentially knock him out of the race. That panic was calmed by the assurance by Alan Sherman that the colt was checked out thoroughly and all was well. It was something he had before the Derby that had returned.

So, make of that what you wish. Until anything further is discovered or announced, we’ll just ignore it in terms of the horse’s performance on Saturday.

There is no way I can go off him at this point. We all know how talk escalates about now that this is the chosen one to finally “reach that unreachable star” known as the Triple Crown and how divine forces are guiding him toward immortality. And we all hear what we’ve heard in the past – how racing desperately needs a Triple Crown winner. This one comes complete with the entire package – a great story and great people.

So, all we can do now is look at the race and try to figure out how to make money on it. Remember how everyone felt Orb was as close to a lock as we’ve had in the Preakness in years, and remember that the $1 trifecta paid over $1,000.

History has shown us that horses exiting the Kentucky Derby are much more successful in the Preakness than the new shooters. So, this year, we’re having it handed to us on the proverbial silver platter with only three such horses. Therefore, boxing California Chrome, Ride On Curlin, and General a Rod is a no brainer. The last two fit the profile of horses who rebound either in the Preakness or Belmont Stakes. They both had less than ideal trips, especially Ride On Curlin, who actually ran a deceptively good race, and the Derby didn’t take much out of them. From a physical standpoint, all three of these horses have put on weight since the Derby, and General a Rod looked like a powerhouse out on the track Thursday morning. Also, the fact that co-owner Jack Wolf of Starlight Partners was assuming they would wait for the Belmont Stakes, but that trainer Mike Maker was the one who wanted to bring him back in two weeks, bodes well for the colt’s chances.

Maker’s other two horses in the Derby – Vicar’s in Trouble and Harry’s Holiday – didn’t eat for three days following the race, but General a Rod cleaned up his feed that night.

So, there is your first trifecta box – three strong colts who were not affected by the rigors of the Derby and three proven horses in grade I company.

That leaves us with the new shooters, and all we can go by is what kind of impression they’ve made at Pimlico. Unfortunately, unlike the Derby, you usually don’t get to see much of the Preakness horses, most of whom ship in three to five days before the race.

But I have to say, that while several of the horses I have seen are looking well and handling the track well, there have been two “Wow” moments and they both came Thursday. Social Inclusion is an absolute beast who exudes power from every pore. He is massive and looks like a man among boys. He pounds the ground with those enormous strides and is always on the muscle once he hits the track.

At the barn he seems pretty laid back and bright and alert. He did wash out a bit before the Wood Memorial and there was a spot of lather on his neck this morning coming off the track following his spirited gallop. But that’s just him. With all the speed in the Preakness, he could be the speed of the speed, but there would be no need to panic if he didn’t get the lead and wound up sitting behind horses. He also drew well in post 8, but does have the speedy Pablo Del Monte directly outside of him, so it will be cat and mouse in the beginning, with the rest of the speed in the inside five posts.

His race in the Wood Memorial was much better than many people think, as he was making only his third career start over a totally different surface than he was used to in Florida. He was under pressure throughout and ran his third quarter in a testing :23 3/5. Although he was no match for the victorious Wicked Strong, who he never saw, he held on tenaciously and was just nosed right on the wire by the previously unbeaten Samraat. There is no reason why he should not improve dramatically off that race.

In contrast to Social Inclusion, the more refined and athletic Bayern just floated over the track Thursday morning and barely made a sound as he glided by at a strong clip. This colt has been playing catch-up all year and had the misfortune to miss a race with a foot bruise and two weeks of training. He still ran an excellent third in the Arkansas Derby over a deepish track and was just nailed for second at the wire, much like Social Inclusion. He then ran a gutsy race in the Derby Trial under constant pressure and dug in to finish first, but was disqualified for interference in the final sixteenth. What is most important about that race is the DRF Track Variant of 26. That is about two to three points from being considered quicksand. That was not Bayern’s type of track, but it should give him plenty of bottom and fitness.

He bounced out of that race with a sensational five-furlong breeze in :58 1/5. Bob Baffert removed the blinkers and gave him an easy five-furlong breeze in 1:02 3/5. So, with blinkers off and a slow breeze, look for Bayern to settle back this time and stalk. And look for a big step forward from him as well. And having Rosie Napravnik aboard at her old stomping grounds doesn’t hurt.

Those are the two new faces who have caught my eye, combined with their room for improvement.

As for the others, I thought Kid Cruz looked great galloping Thursday morning, and that was not unexpected, considering he won the Federico Tesio Stakes over this track last time out. He likely will be running last and would benefit if the projected speed duel develops. But you never know about those things. He carries good flesh and is the one everyone will be looking for in the final furlong.

Getting back to Ride On Curlin, I loved the fact that a Derby starter actually had a work between races and that he looked great doing it. I particularly like the way he hugged these sharp turns at the head of the stretch and also galloping out. It shows off his athleticism, and I expect Joel Rosario to be sitting right off California Chrome’s flank and attempting to match strides with the Derby winner when the real running starts.

Dynamic Impact is a tenacious fighter, and I like the huge gaps between second and third in his last two starts. He also handled the track well Thursday morning. It’s just a question whether he’s up to this task against this kind of competition. He has improved his Beyer Speed Figures with every race.

I haven’t seen Ria Antonia train, but she appears to be in over her head coming off a poor effort in the Kentucky Oaks. She is now in the hands of Tom Amoss, her fourth trainer. She’s good on her best day, but not so good on her off days and hasn’t been running against fillies who are on this level.

I also haven’t seen Ring Weekend, who has been training at Fair Hill, but I did love this horse after his Tampa Bay Derby victory and am throwing out that bizarre race in the Calder Derby run over a beach. He has a longshot chance in here, but is one of a number of tactical speed horses, as is Pablo Del Monte, who ran huge in the Blue Grass Stakes, in which he was the only pace horse anywhere near at the finish, hanging in there gamely for third. But he’s run his best races on Polytrack, so we’ll see how far he can last. Ring Weekend does intrigue me.

Again, it’s California Chrome, Ride On Curlin, and General a Rod for the obvious Derby trifecta, and California Chrome, Social Inclusion, and Bayern from a visual standpoint.

You can dig deeper if you wish to add any others to your exotics. Several of them have a decent shot of hitting the board.


Leave a Comment:


The 2014 Derby was strange to state the least and I have not seen enough to get on the CC bandwagon. Why am I still on the fence about the colt?

The colt received a 97 Beyer for his Derby victory. Of the 19 starters 15 received lower Beyers than they did in their previous starts. There were only three horses that received higher Beyers over the prior races i.e., Commanding Curve, Harry’s Holiday and Vinceremos. We Miss Artie received an 85 similar to his number in the Spiral.

The colt that finished second had only a MSW victory and never won Derby prep. The 3rd place finisher was making his 5th start and his 3rd in 8 months. The 4th place finishers had a bad trip. The 7th place finisher was given an impossible task by his rider but closed a tremendous amount of ground. The rest of the field was MIA.

I am not a Beyer person but the above revelations about the numbers, in addition to the other cold facts, leaves me on the fence about CC. Many will dismiss my assessment and I can appreciate that but at least I have basis for my position

16 May 2014 9:15 AM

like S.Inclusion/ C.C. exacta.

16 May 2014 9:38 AM

I know that some months ago Steve and Lenny were joking about the Betfair prop that allowed wagers being made against horses winning. With California Chrome being such a dominant force, this might be the one time when such a betting strategy makes sense.

16 May 2014 9:48 AM
7 1/2 Furlongs

California Chrome is the one to beat in Baltimore.  But, if I had to beat him, give me Dynamic Impact and Bayern.  Both colts are coming up to their next race in good form and either one could benefit from a faster-than-normal pace setup.

I'm glad there's an equipment change for Bayern with blinkers off.

16 May 2014 10:26 AM

I would be interested in Coldfacts assessment of Ria Antonia.

16 May 2014 11:05 AM
Pedigree Ann

Those 'enormous beasts' who pound the ground as they gallop don't hold up to much racing. They haven't learned to use their hind-ends to balance themselves and the impact is all on the forelegs. The fashion for early maturing monster-sized TBs, so that they look like grown horses at the sales, has been a blight on this industry for at least a decade. 30 years ago, such a colt would have been gelded to keep him from putting on stallion weight in the neck and shoulders as he matured, to preserve those precious forelegs. Now they just try to get a few starts and a stakes win out of him before the inevitable cracked bone and retirement to a lucrative stud career.

16 May 2014 11:07 AM

I have a dilemma, I requested the Kentucky Derby off  and I don't work tomorrow. I have a job where I'm needed and calling in isn't an option. I haven't missed a day of work in years. If California Chrome walks off with that blanket of black-eyed susans it will be next to impossible to miss watching the Belmont and I'm scheduled to work that day. Oh well, I can always find another job.

16 May 2014 11:16 AM
Linda in Texas

I'm not bailing now and i have never been on the fence. Sticking with California Chrome and i don't use Beyer's to hedge my selection.

I would rather spend my energy being positive than dwell on negativity of any kind.

Weather: Heavy rain today tapering off late.

Mostly sunshine and 71 degrees on Preakness Day.

Have a great time Steve. And thank you.

16 May 2014 11:24 AM
Pedigree Ann

OR, Coldfacts, a lot of the horses in the rest of the field had been the recipients of too much hype over modest performances against suspect competition. Medal Count? Puh-LEEZE. Vinceremos? Won the softest prep of the year. Uncle Sigh? Inner Track lover. Chitu? Already beaten by better, had to go to El Paso to win a stakes race, beating the distance-limited Midnight Hawk. Wildcat Red? Couldn't hold on after a pokey pace in the Florida Derby and he's going to do better with another furlong?

16 May 2014 11:29 AM

Great analysis!

Ring Weekend appears to me to be the speed of the race. His opening quarter and half at Gulfstream were faster than Social Inclusion's. The fact that he is gelding is fairly significant insofar as coming of a six week layoff. Simply put; geldings tend to adapt better to training regimes than colts who need the training regime to adapt to them. There is always some experimentation going on with any horse and geldings usually adapt quicker. His race at Tampa was a nice effort, albeit against lesser competitors.(Note: Vinceremos has run two dismal efforts since facing Ring Weekend. Vinceremos made a big move that day and fell short. Did Ring Weekend "break his heart"?) The Calder race is toss because he broke a bit slowly and Garcia attempted to take him back which he resented. Graham Motion has proven ability and numbers with horses coming off slight layoffs. His post position right next to California Chrome is advantageous, he doesn't have to waste any effort finding the "target". I don't think he or any of the other horses in the race can outrun California Chrome, if he fires another big race. From a wagering perspective Ring Weekend should be included in all vertical plays.

16 May 2014 12:03 PM

thanks STEVE for pointing out commanding curve in the derby I caught the $1 triple because of that. looks like dallas stewart? did it 2 years in a row. curve could be a good belmont pick, but at a lower price. thanks again!!

16 May 2014 12:18 PM

Don't see him losing here. It will come down to the Belmont.

16 May 2014 12:18 PM

Totally believe in Chrome. And if he does not win I pray for a safe trip. He is a joy win or lose. Sending good thoughts and prayers for Wise Dan's full recovery even if he never races again.

16 May 2014 12:42 PM

Got a feeling Ride on Curlin will upset California Chrome

in the last 20 yards

16 May 2014 1:27 PM
Eric Rickard

I understand Coldfacts point of view. If you did not know any of the horses in the Derby and only looked at the chart and the speed figures; you should come to that conclusion. However, we know the horses. They have a track record to follow. California Chrome's record speaks for itself. If you think he is a media horse and a sham; than you have a west coast bias. The horse so far has run the same race every time. Sits behind the leader and than "turns the after burners on". I see no reason that he does not continue this form. Is their money to be made…. most likely not. If that is what you are interested in; than play the pic 3's and 4's. The doubles. Exacta's try fectas and supers. Hope for long shots and you can make money.

I for one am not willing to risk my money betting against. I will lay an exacta,try,super and pick 3 or 4.

Good luck to all.

See you at the Belmont

16 May 2014 1:35 PM

Thanks Steve, great insights as usual. I'll stick with Chrome and Ride On Curlin in the top two spots - Bayern, Kid Cruz, General A Rod and Dynamic Impact for the 3rd and 4th spots. I think Ride on Curlin is the logical upsetter and will have extra tickets with him keyed on top.

16 May 2014 2:24 PM

At what odds will the filly go off at? The 5 lb. weight advantage could prove to be significant in a race of a mediocre bunch of 3-year-olds. I may "bite" at 55-1 or higher!

16 May 2014 2:41 PM

Staying with the Derby horses as well with CC on top and SI as good LS as he has pedigree and speed always dangerous at Pimlico. Beyer numbers should be reconsidered as I think many have forgotten how much the wind played a factor on both days at CD. They were literally flying down the backstretch all day with the wind pushing them, then that same wind was in their face in the stretch. Friday winds were 9 to 26 mph with gusts to 26 mph. Between 5-6pm (when Oaks ran)winds were about 10 mph. Compare to Saturday with 10 to 25 mph with gusts to 31 mph. Winds speeds between 6-7pm (during Derby time) were hovering at OVER 24 mph (graph doesnt give exact, sorry) point is wind makes huge difference in final time, especially in distance races, when it is blowing into their faces. CD had been heavy prior to Oaks day and think there was still some residual effect even after the masterful grooming by the crew and everyone knew the rail was not the place to be leading up to and on both days. Take it as you will. Additionally think everyone knows here, its not uncommon for horses to clearly show that distance is not in their scope on Derby day while others vastly improve. Orb fell victim to a unusually dead rail at Pimlico coming out of the #1 and some good tactical riding by others as well and not so good by his own jockey but it is what it is, just wasnt meant to be. Hopefully CC takes us to the next step. Safe trips to all~

16 May 2014 2:48 PM
Mister Frisky

On paper it's Chromes to lose,class,foundation,and race record unmatched.That being said,the gambler in me will swing for the fences with a 5 horse super without CC in it.A Rod,Ring Weekend,Kid Cruz.SI,and ROC.

16 May 2014 3:06 PM

Great analysis! Ring Weekend appears to me to be the speed of the race. His opening quarter and half at Gulfstream were faster than that of  Social Inclusion. The fact that he is gelding is fairly significant insofar as coming of a six week layoff. Simply put; geldings tend to adapt better to training regimes than colts who need the training regime to adapt to them. There is always a some experimentation going on with any horse and geldings usually adapt quicker. His race at Tampa was a nice effort, albeit against lesser competitors.(Note: Vinceremos has run two dismal efforts since facing Ring Weekend. Vinceremos made a big move that day and fell short. Did Ring Weekend "break his heart"? The Calder race is toss because he broke a bit slowly and Garcia attempted to take him back which the horse resented. Graham Motion has proven ability and numbers with horses coming off slight layoffs. His post position right next to California Chrome is advantageous, he doesn't have to waste any effort finding the "target". I don't think he or any of the other horses in the race can outrun California Chrome, if he fires another big race. From a wagering perspective Ring Weekend should be included in all vertical plays.

16 May 2014 3:08 PM
Karen in Indiana

You know, people have been making much about the slow time in the Derby and the low Beyer figure. But CC wasn't being pushed the last eigth. Victor Espinoza was riding him with the future in mind, not to see how far ahead of the other horse's he could push him.

16 May 2014 4:27 PM

Love Chrome. Hit the tri in the Derby because I also like the "other" CC in the race. Even had a modest $5wps on Curve. I am taking much the same approach in this race with one exception, I am not betting Chrome first. Call me crazy(you may just be rite), but I am gonna swing for the fences here. I am will be tossing the filly out and keying Chrome 2nd and 3rd with all the other horses remaining. $56 for each spot. Hate to go against him as I think he is a well oiled machine at this point, just playing the odds...or against them however you want to look at it. Good luck everyone!

p.s. I look for Ride On Curlin to be the ONE that runs him down in the last few strides. He did indeed make a big move in the Derby, a move that was actually his 2nd in the race. I like horses that close into mediocre/slow splits and he did exactly that.

16 May 2014 6:45 PM
NH Gal

My picks are 1) California Chrome 2) Ride On Curlin 3) General A Rod 4) Pablo Del Monte :-)

16 May 2014 7:24 PM

I'm drawn to that shiny Chrome, but my trifecta goes CC, Kid Cruz, and Dynamic Impact. As much as I like the look of Social Inclusion, I think he was used too early in the Wood, and didn't have enough left to hold off Samraat (who was doing pretty good in the Derby up to the 8th pole, matching CC's stride.) I'm just disappointed the odds are dropping on Kid Cruz..but they're rising on DI.

Today I watched the Black-eyed Susan, and in the post parade, I loved the look and carriage of Vero Amore. I really didn't know anything about these fillies...I just went with instinct. And my girl almost pulled off the upset....almost. Sad word..that...almost.

Happy for Ben's Cat. Love that boy. He looked even more handsome as he has matured.

As to the Preakness...can't help myself...can't make my final choices until the post parade, but I did pass on my info to my daughter, who can't find an OTB in New Orleans. (She won't go to the track, but she might go to Harrah's.)

16 May 2014 7:49 PM

Yes, Steve, the tri of Derby horses is the smartest move.  I'm skipping the race and will be rooting Junior home--one down--the Preakness next.  Ex. CC over Kid Cruz who will relish the fast pace.

One aspect I'll be watching carefully is how the other riders will attempt to keep Victor and California Chrome bottled up on the rail if possible.  I do not expect Victor to easily get his stalking position.  He may have to lay a bit further back because of the speed.  When Victor needs to move him, Junior will show his class.  Go Chrome!

Safe trip for all and Good Luck to everyone!

16 May 2014 8:31 PM

Steve, like yourself and Quinnbit, Ring Weekend intrigues me but it may be just that he appears so enigmatic. Also, Bayern appeals to me as well - especially the way he skims over the track.

With that said, it's hard not seeing California Chrome winning and for the good of racing, I hope he triumphs. As well, the new Belmont Stakes day 'make-over' would receive a huge fillip in having a possible Triple Crown winner crowned.

16 May 2014 8:38 PM


California Chrome has nothing to prove ...he was much the best in the Derby, doing enough to win geared down. Go back to the cold facts of his performances in the San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby.

For me however, Social Inclusion cannot be opposed at this stage. He's a special one that is going to win many fans on Saturday. I expect him to win by daylight, with all due respect to "Chrome".  

16 May 2014 8:58 PM
Indian Hemp

would rather see Chrome wide than get stuck down inside...if Victor can handle that, it's only a matter of how much...didn't Baffert say something about "looking for a softer spot, but hey it's The Preakness."  if that's true he's most likely to get a small slice at best.

16 May 2014 9:36 PM

My choice is:  California Chrome, General A Rod, Ride On Curlin.  Also, wouldn't it be awesome for Tom Durkin's last Belmont if he got to call a Triple Crown?  The stars seems to be aligning.....

16 May 2014 10:53 PM

I'm sticking with California Chrome too.  I'm trying not to get overexcited, but I can just imagine the scene at Los Al Saturday night if "Junior" wins.  Even the quarter horses will be in on the party atmosphere there.  I hope if it happens that TVG captures all the excitement during their quarter horse telecast that night.  Go Chrome!!!!!!! All he needs to do is sit back off of the speed and stalk a bit then make his patented move down the stretch.  General A Rod for 2nd, Social Inclusion for 3rd.

Good luck to all and all horses come home safe.

16 May 2014 11:05 PM


I have used the splits for the IL Derby and did some extrapolation of the figures and came up with a extrapolated time for a 1 3/16M of 1:55.29 for Dynamic Impact. The formula is imperfect but it gives some guidance as to time Dynamic Impact is capable of recording for the distance This extrapolated time is comparable to the average winning time for the stakes.

I had not paid a lot of attention to Dynamic Impact. However, now that I am finalizing the horse that will comprise my exotics wagers he appears to be the horse most likely to defeat California Chrome or at least finish second. Below are some cold facts:

He contested his last race as 2YO on 16th Nov. He returned for his 3YO debut on 30th January (10.7 weeks) He finished 2nd by 6 1/2L over a mile completed in 1:42.05. Approximately a month later he broke his maiden over 8F by a NK in 1:38.40. His winning time on an obviously faster track was 3.60 seconds faster than his previous effort at the distance.

He then contested the IL Derby 7 weeks later and won by a nose. It should be noted that the 8F time in the IL Derby was 1:36.63. This time was 1.77 seconds faster than the time in his maiden breaker at distance. The final time of 1:49.07 was the 2nd fastest in the last 15 renewals of race. The final time for the IL Derby was also faster than those recorded in the Wood, AK Derby, FL Derby, LA Derby and Bluegrass.

As a next out MSW winner Dynamic Impact defeated the very fast Midnight Hawk who was contesting his 5th graded stakes. Midnight Hawk previously finished 2nd to CC and chitu two very fast horses.

He defeated a seasoned graded stakes horse in his graded stakes debut. His final time in the IL Derby was faster than those recorded in the final 9F Derby preps by the horses that finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the Kentucky Derby.

Dynamic Impact won the IL Derby off 7 weeks between races and will contest the Preakness in approximately 4 week between races. This rapidly improving son of two times HOY Tiznow is quite capable of recording a time of 1:55 for 1m 3/16F and has to be California Chrome’s most formidable opponent.

After a careful review of all the contenders he is my pick as the one most likely to take down the Chrome. Obviously he will need to improve significantly off his last start.

NB: Preakness winners Curlin and Lookin At Lucky were sired by Smart Strike. The dam sire of Preakness runner up Mine That Bird was sired by Smart Strike. Dynamic Impact's dam was sired by Smart Strike.

17 May 2014 1:35 AM

Horse that will to comprise my exotic wagers:

California Chrome

Dynamic Impact

General A Rod

Kid Cruz

Ring Weekend

Social Inclusion with his blinkers and F8 will be carrying too much equipment for my liking. If he makes  the tri/sup I lose. A nice colt that could not out run the hard ridden Samaart in the Wood. What has change since? He only needs a shadow roll to resemble the usually over dressed Comma To The Top.

17 May 2014 1:49 AM

I am completely befuddled trying to figure out how to bet this race.  I like CC to win as much as the next guy or gal, but there is little value to a win wager, obviously.

So who to use underneath and how is the question.

ROC is the only other horse I feel comfortable with getting the distance.  I don't feel the same with SI or Bayern.

Ring Weekend intrigues me, particularly if he stalks alongside CC the whole way.

Kid Cruz picking up the pieces with his late run as the majority of the field comes up short gets him a place in my exotics, and GaR with arguably the hottest jockey on board might require inclusion.

So I'm thinking keying CC over ROC, RW, KC and GaR in tris and possibly supers.  But I have no confidence in that decision.

Oh well....I'll be rooting hard for CC regardless!

17 May 2014 6:04 AM
Old Timer

I liked the guy from DRF who said that Ria Antonia would be a long shot in the Black Eyed Susan, let's not even talk about the Preakness. Your tri box, Steve sounds good. I think that I'd also add Dynamic Impact in there for the lower places. It is however not the greatest betting race. It will be a good one to watch at home and root for this unlikely hero, California Chrome.  

17 May 2014 9:11 AM

I am still not sold on California Chrome.  I keep thinking back to Smarty Jones 10 years ago.  I will still stick to Ride on Curlin and I am taking a chance on Kid Cruz.

17 May 2014 9:48 AM

California Chrome may well win as predicted, it his certainly his race to lose; but I am going with Dynamic Impact..based on his (a) demonstrated talent and on (b) his being inbred 4 X 4 to Seattle Slew.  Dynamic Impact's sire, Tiznow, had remarkable heart and courage, and the will to win, as did Slew. In spades. I believe DI inherited those qualities and they will be be on display in the Preakness.  I am also partial to Bayern for his raw talent and, again, because of the Slew connection. His speedy sire, Offlee Wild, is out of the Slew mare, Alvear, which is out of Andover Way, as was the excellent sire, Dynaformer. Social Inclusion certainly has the talent and could well pull it off, but maybe not enough experience to do it yet.  He will be a monster talent at some point.  After that....Kid Cruz and Ring Weekend.  

17 May 2014 9:49 AM

Dynamic Impact-Ran a huge race in Windy city (no KY Derby points, OUCH!) and was visually running within himself in 12:19 last eighth, barn is on a roll

General A Rod-Had a troubled trip in Kentucky, merits consideration to get a piece of the Preakness crab-cake

California Chrome-Slow Derby time? Cough-blister? Only real question is can racing luck trap him, fatefully NO!

Ring Weekend-Tampa repeat could trump this field, too bad Vinceremos trumped him Derby Day

Bayern-Warlord's last soldier still standing, will be calling for the medic with the oxygen tank at the eighth pole

Ria Antonia-Hope she brings several bags of lunch because these boys are gonna eat hers

Kid Cruz-Hope he had fun slapping Joint Custody and Matuzak around, this ain't AAA ball it's the big leagues. Hope he brings his binoculars because he'll need them to see where the field is, ain't gonna be no sixteen&change 3/4s in this race

Social Inclusion-Exclusion from the Derby? The buddies he tangled with in New York had minor impact in Kentucky.

Pablo Del Monte-No recycled carpet to bounce on in Baltimore.

Ride On Curlin-Won't get railed by Bo-rail. Trusty competitor that gives his all every trip. If the pace gets suicidal his siren could could be the last thing we hear.

17 May 2014 10:14 AM
Ted from LA

CC, Social Inclusion, ROC, and Ring Weekend.  Box them 20 times until Tuesday.  Off Topic:  Is it just Ted from LA or does Churchill Downs come off as looking like greedy fools going after that football player's $15,000?  Bob from Boston spent that much Oaks Day.  They look petty and stupid.  What's next? Spend $70,000 on lawyers to recoup the 15k? Not to mention the best PR story to come out of the Derby aside from the winning connections was him handing out $100 bills to strangers. Who's buying plane tickets tonight for NYC after Chrome wins besides Ted from LA?  

17 May 2014 11:40 AM

Preakness: final betting decision

super, tri and exacta box: 1,2,3,7,10

looking for SI, Ringweekend,Pablo,and Bayern to all fade and finish off the board, with the rest closing fast, and anyone might win.

17 May 2014 2:24 PM

No talk of cali chrome moves alot in gate....very prone to a bad break.......the biggest thing though, is if you know the horse, he doesnt like being hit by dirt....big time......with the post to the inside, and the probable race riding, you would think many will try to get in front of him.......not good for 2/5 shot.......dont complain when he throws his head in the air!   i'm betting ride on curlin And general a-rod.....give me those odds? why not?

17 May 2014 4:09 PM
Pedigree Ann

Hello from sometimes sunny Northern Ireland. Am settling in for my hubby's sabbatical; we have a flat just off Malone Road near Queen's University, which he can walk to. Finding out about colcannon and champ (both are food). Tracks up here in the north are sort of third tier, but the island is not that large and we could attend some races in The South (that's what it says on the motorway signs - The South) if his work allows.

Here to cheer on Cal Chrome, hope nothing untoward occurs. Win of Class Leader in the Sir Barton gives some credence to Dynamic Impact, don't you think? Finished 10 lengths behind DI in Illinois, but mowed down these without much bother.

17 May 2014 5:13 PM

It is hard not to back California Chrome, at least for me it is. Reading his history and pedigree, who is training him. The man is one good horseman.

I keep saying that the horses running in The Triple Crown are still babies, some barely 3 years old. Still growing, and maturing and any good horse person would hopefully know this. But these are exciting races and it is great to see the horses mature through the three races, at least the ones who actually run the three. Myself, I think it should be mandatory to run in all three. Kind of seems like cheating if they only run in one or two. Ah well, I am a old school old horse lady. 😊  

I am putting my support with CC because I really feel he has a lot left in him, and has not shown yet what he really can do. Ride on Curlin the same. That little ole' horse has some tricks up his hoof yet. Good luck to them all. After all. It is a horse race!

17 May 2014 6:20 PM
Sail On

Hope Bayers wasn't injured breaking from the gate? Social Inclusion did well, considering he was fully lathered before the race. Rosie seems to be specializing in finishing last.

Steve, can you explain to me why a horse may not eat after a race?

17 May 2014 6:57 PM

Steve; you were so close to your trifecta of the three Derby starters.  

To those that still questioned Chrome's status as the best 3-yr old colt in America, are you convinced yet?  He soundly defeated Social Inclusion that many were claiming to be a super horse. and it's not like SI didn't have his shot.  They were on even terms at the 1/2 mile pole.  Ride on Curlin ran an awesome race, but while Victor didn't stand up before the wire, he was just hand-riding Chrome the last 100 yards or so.  I don't think ROC would have got by him even if the race were longer.

I admit to being worried about the Belmont.  History has shown just how difficult it is to win the Triple Crown, and some nice colts have got a nice break waiting to take Chrome on at 10 furlongs. However, if you believe in omens, one of the announcers pointed out that the last horse to win the Preakness at odds of 1-2 was Affirmed, our last TC winner.

I'm really looking forward to your comments and predictions, Steve.

17 May 2014 7:00 PM
Smoking Baby

OK, that's over. Can we now all finally agree that Social Inclusion might not be the superstar that some thought he was?  Derby colts took three of the top four spots (a nose from the trifecta).  So much for the new shooters we were supposed to be so afraid of.  On to New York.

17 May 2014 7:16 PM

Well, well California Chrome is da hoss ...gotta eat some crow for opposing him in the Preakness as well as for picking the wrong horse (Social Inclusion) to sweep the series. I sincerely hope that he breaks the 36 years Triple Crown drought ...and so far he's looking a worthy candidate to join that elite band. Congratulations to all his connections. The reasonably fast time of the race shows that he did just what was necessary in the Derby, saving something for this Preakness. He ran faster in this race because Social Inclusion engaged him on the far turn and Ride On Curlin was closing threateningly at the eighth pole.

The extra two furlongs of the Belmont Stakes is going to be tough but invariably the horses that compete in all three legs of the Triple Crown are no worse for wear and perform better than those new shooters that miss a leg or two of the series. Notably, in the Preakness the Kentucky Derby graduates finished 1st,2nd and 4th, therefore from that angle California Chrome has a great shot to break the drought as he has shown no stamina limtations whatsoever.

Carlos in Cali: I can see that you're over the moon on this one ...can't blame you but go easy on the jive 'cause I was a fan of this colt before you(LOL).

17 May 2014 7:34 PM

Two down--Belmont to go.  Another dominating run by California Chrome.

Ride on Curlin also looked strong in the stretch.

And Victor had to be thanking Calvin Borel on Ria Antonia for making a left turn into Bayern and Ring Weekend out of the gate and taking them out of their gam plan.   Calvin then made a right turn with her to the outside and went up and joined the pace with Pablo Del Monte, then tired to finish last.

I don't think Tom Amos's was looking for that kind of ride.

A lot of late money went on Social Inclusion.  Went from 10-1down to 5-1.

The last one will be the hardest.  See you at Belmont.  

17 May 2014 11:44 PM

Mr or Ms Coldfacts, just one comment for your assessment of Chrome. You cannot handicap "heart".

18 May 2014 8:31 AM
Love 'em all

Saw Art Sherman earlier on FoxNews.  He had just found out that nasal strips are not allowed in New York ... except for harness racing!  I remember this issue when "Cookie" (I'll Have Another) was planning on running the Belmont in 2012, and it's hard to believe no change has been made in two years that only common sense tells one that it should've been allowed all along!  What nonsense!

Congrats to CC and all his wonderful folks .... the Preakness was by far a more thrilling win than the KD two weeks ago.  Only 1/3 of the way to go, folks, for that possible #12 on the TC winners' list.  

Have had trouble logging onto the Wise Dan article, so, if I may, I wish to send my get-well wishes to my still favorite big chestnut fella ... and hope his recovery is successful and he's back happy and healthy.  Haven't prayed this much in years .... for horse or man!  

18 May 2014 8:52 AM
Linda in Texas

NotRite - you were right on about your post that Ride on Curlin would be the one to chase him down, he just ran out of real estate. My concern was also Ride on Curlin. His face kept knocking around in my head! But he didn't quite get ahead. But he is gutsy. A little bumping and crossing over in front of's going on.

But California Chrome won.

18 May 2014 1:43 PM
Linda in Texas

trackjack-you were right in your post,last paragraph.

I worried also about CC being on the rail but not being a jockey, i thought surely that was on the minds of the jockey and the trainer. Pablo came way over i believe it was to get to Chrome in a hurry, i worried at that moment but it was fleeting. I enjoy going back after the race and reading the posts. One poster was totally wrong again. A couple of times. What is it, is it me or am i just a dreamer?  Guess i am jes stickin' with the one that brung me to the race! Loving it all all the way. Heard Jeff or Aaron say, "Victor drives CC like a car". Well then Zoe comes on and says "Victor used to drive a Mexican City Bus in his younger days". Reckon that's where he got the ability to steer California Chrome like he does? Probably more RPM's in Chrome!

18 May 2014 2:58 PM
Smoking Baby

Ranagulzion.  You're a class act.  I mentioned it before but it bears saying again.  Two years back, you were the first person I thought of as Union Rags crossed the wire in the Belmont.  He wasn't my pick but I was glad that you were right as you had stood by him all winter and spring.  Good job, keep your stuff coming.

Looking at the overhead shot of the Preakness, I think they could've gone around again and Ride On Curlin wasn't going to get by California Chrome (felt the same way about Commanding Curve in the Derby).  Watch the replay closely,  the Curlin colt doesn't gain so much as an inch on the winner the last 100 yards.  He ran big though and his connections and backers should be proud.  I sure thought Kid Cruz would run better than he did.  I guess the step up in class wasn't to his liking.  

Someone in the Form mentioned there were only two bets on the filly.  How far she'd get beat and who her next trainer would be.  If ever a horse didn't belong it was her (poor thing).

Terry Finley virturally guaranteed that Commanding Curve would win the Belmont.  Sure hope he's wrong.  I'd like to hear Coldfacts' take on the historical angle.  I don't believe deep closers who picked up the pieces in the Derby (Denis of Cork, Woodchopper, etc.) are necessarily the horses to beat in the Belmont.  Of course there's Birdstone but I think there may be more who came late in the Derby who were also beat (and beat bad in some cases) in the Belmont.

Coldfacts?  I could be wrong here.  Your thoughts?

19 May 2014 8:35 AM

Chrome ran a hell of a race,right from the break...

Some people on this board will just never get it...

As I said prior to the Derby my eyes do not lie to me...

Does Danza have the pedigree to get the distance?

May be a very chalky Belmont..

19 May 2014 9:18 AM
Fran Loszynski

Ride On Curlin was tired out reaching across the track and you have to wonder how fast he came up on California Chrome with a little more distance and Rosario on board? in the Belmont.  Remember Curlin the champion he was. I like CChrome and his owners are so lovable but my horse racing sense has kicked in and I think Ride On Curlin is going to win the Belmont.

20 May 2014 11:22 AM
Carlos in Cali


Just giving you a dose of your own medicine.

20 May 2014 5:11 PM

The Chrome does it again...with flair. Must say, as to the Beyer numbers for the Derby, someone should also have noticed that CC had several triple digit Beyer #'s before the Derby was ever run.

Much better ride for Ride On Curlin...he did great. (And in the post parade, he was the best in show; gosh he was handsome. If I didn't already have my heart riding with the Chrome, ROC might have stolen it.)

Kid Cruz and Dynamic Impact are still top flight horses in my binoculars, and I think we'll still see great races from them.

On to Belmont....YES, I want to see the Chrome grab the crown...but I won't hold my breath. We've been sooo close sooo often in the past 35 years. Do I think he can do it..possibly. If you think he actually has an outstanding bloodline...then check out that of Commanding Curve. I think he's the biggest threat, and he's more than capable of taking the Belmont. He's has crosses so many times with Secretariat, I could hardly believe there could be that much inbreeding. But his bloodline is even more extensive.

But I don't believe we've seen the bottom of California Chrome yet. He dances over the wire with his ears twitching, eased down a notch or two. He certainly seemed relaxed after the race..again.

I guess we'll all be nervous Nellies, waiting for the final curtain. Best of luck to all. (But especially the Chrome.)

21 May 2014 7:04 PM

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