When California Chrome headed to Belmont Park in early June, he looked like a lock for, if not the Triple Crown, at least an Eclipse Award for champion 3-year-old, and maybe Horse of the Year.
But after a fourth-place finish in the Belmont, California Chrome went winless in his next two races, finishing sixth in the Pennsylvania Derby and third in the Breeders’ Cup Class, creating the looming prospect that he’d be shut out of end-of-year honors entirely, despite having won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.
So his trainer Art Sherman called an audible, pointing the dual Classic winner to the Hollywood Derby at Del Mar last Saturday, and with a 2-length victory, California Chrome may well have wrapped up the two championships that had looked to be his earlier this year.
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Photo credit Del Mar Thoroughbred Club