3 Reasons Why California Chrome Will Win The 2014 Preakness Stakes



California Chrome came into the Kentucky Derby as the favorite, but no one really knew if he would be able to capitalize. He wiped Churchill Downs with the field to win the “Run For The Roses”, and the small margin over second-place Commanding Curve was misleading as jockey Victor Espinoza clearly took his foot off the gas to ease California Chrome to the finish line and avoid injury on a sloppy track. 

Now, it is on to the Preakness Stakes for the second jewel in the Triple Crown, which hasn’t been completed since Affirmed in 1978, but 12 horses have won the first two jewels; most recently, I’ll Have Another in 2012. To ramp up the Triple Crown talk, you have to win the Preakness first and here are three reasons why California Chrome could claim the “Run For The Black-Eyed Susans” as well. 

Momentum 

You always hear about momentum in sports, and the same goes for horse racing and the fact of the matter is, California Chrome is red-hot right now. His win at the Kentucky Derby was his fifth in a row, and you have to give a lot of credit to his handlers (owners Steven Coburn and Perry Martin, and trainer Art Sherman) for the way they have brought him along. They slowly worked him from synthetic surfaces to dirt as a two-year-old, then increased the difficulty of the races in increments. Many will see their horses win a couple of allowance races and then throw them into a Grade-1 race, but the trio went easily on California Chrome to protect their investment, and he rewarded them last weekend. 

His Jockey

Victor Espinoza was the man in the saddle as he won his second Kentucky Derby, and he did a fantastic job of keeping California Chrome out of trouble, not allowing him to get caught up in a group and ping-pong all over the place. The horse was comfortable and when he was ready to make his surge, he responded aptly. Espinoza was on board for California Chrome’s win at the Santa Anita Derby, so he knew what the horse could do, and that comfort level between a jockey and a horse is crucial. Now, he’ll go for his second Preakness win; Espinoza rode War Emblem to wins in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness in 2002. Maybe he knows a special horse when he gets on one. 

He Might REALLY Be That Good

The ease with which California Chrome won the Derby might just be a glimpse into how good this horse really is. He was never rushed and that he was able to slow down and still win shows that he has a ton of talent which may be head and shoulders above the rest of the three-year-old field. We will really see in about a week and a half if this horse is the real deal and judging on his run at Churchill Downs, he just might be. 

Horse Racing Odds: Will California Chrome Win 2014 Preakness?

Yes -200

No +175