California Chrome Wins the Kentucky Derby
California Chrome, the speedy colt who established himself as the 5-2 morning-line favorite after winning four straight races by a combined 24 1/4 lengths, blew away the field in the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday under blue skies and 70-degree weather at Churchill Downs.
Ridden by Victor Espinoza, California Chrome held off Commanding Curve by one and three-quarters lengths to prove that he was indeed the horse to beat here. He completed the mile-and-a-quarter distance in 2:03.66 over a fast track and returned $7 on a $2 bet to win. Danza finished third.
He joins four other California-bred horses who have won the sport’s most prestigious race. Previously, the last California-bred horse to win the Derby was Decidedly in 1962, and only three have accomplished the feat.
“I think we get along together very well,” Espinoza, who won his first Derby in 2002 with War Emblem, told NBC after the race. “He’s just an impressive horse, an amazing horse.”