…as the Belmont Stakes at Pimlico Race Course, last leg in the Triple Crown, approaches. The rivalry between the West Coast racing establishment and the East Coast thoroughbred industry ratchets up another notch. Not since 1978 has any horse seized all three of racing’s prize jewels.
There stalks California Chrome, a west coast bred entry from regular guy Joe-owners. Steve Coburn and Perry Martin bred dam Love the Chase to Lucky Pulpit, a horse that walked in the winner’s circle only three times out of 22 starts. Love the Chase managed that status once in six races. But Coburn and Martin studied the bloodlines and saw something that amounted to a winner at a basement bargain price. With Secretariat, Seattle Slew and A.P.Indy in California Chrome’s background, they bought Love the Chase, watched California Chrome take his first steps, and began the road to glory. Next, veteran trainer Art Sherman teamed up with DAP Racing (Dumb Ass Partners) and jockey Victor Espinoza climbed in the stirrups. The DAP team has scored big-time twice.
It’s still a horse race. Social Inclusion and Ride On Curlin remain challengers as do seven other horses. Nothing is final until those big-hearted, glorious animals pound across the finish line June 7.