California Chrome favorite for the Preakness Stakes

California Chrome favorite for the Preakness Stakes
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Saturday, May 17, 2014 - 1:41pm

Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome, hailed as a modern-day Seabiscuit and the "people's horse," is highly favored Saturday in the second race of the illustrious and elusive Triple Crown.

The running of the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes will take place Saturday afternoon at Pimlico Racetrack in Baltimore, Maryland.

California Chrome is favored at odds of 3-5.

Winning the 139th running of the Preakness would be the second jewel in the Triple Crown for the colt. He won the Kentucky Derby May 3, and if he wins at the Belmont Stakes next month, he'd be the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.

Of the 38 horses that took both the Derby and Preakness, only 11 went on to win in the Belmont.

Described by his 77-year-old trainer as a rock star who loves posing for pictures and the buzz of the track, California Chrome was delivered by a mare named Love the Chase that Coburn and co-owner Perry Martin bought for $8,000 with a view to breeding.

She was bred to the stallion Lucky Pulpit for a reduced fee of $2,000, the first breeding the novice pair had ever undertaken. Their offspring has earned Coburn and Perry more than $1 million in prize money and chalked up illustrious wins at the Santa Anita Derby, San Felipe Stakes and California Cup Derby.

The second favorite for the Preakness is Social Inclusion, according to the morning line odds on Preakness.com.

The only filly in the race is Ria Antonia. The ladies have managed to win the Preakness five times; the last was Rachel Alexandra in 2009.

If Ria Antonia wins -- a 30-1 long shot -- she'd give her backers the biggest payday in Preakness history. The record is held by Master Derby, according to Sports Illustrated, whose win in 1975 -- a 23-1 shot -- paid $48.80.

Still, all eyes will be on California Chrome, who is being called a modern-day Seabiscuit.

"I do believe he's that, like Seabiscuit," owner Steve Coburn said. "He became the people's horse in the depression because he was the little guy kicking the big guy. We're doing that in the same kind of way. No one ever gave it any credence and we shouldn't be where we are now."

Said trainer Art Sherman, "Pure and simple, he's a rock star."
 

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