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California Chrome Wins 140th Kentucky Derby

Added on: May 27, 2014

Jockey Victor Espinoza claimed his second Derby victory this year on California Chrome, winning the 140th Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) at Churchill Downs. Espinoza has had to wait more than ten years before he could win a second Derby, but took the lead going into the final stretch, beating second place Commanding Curve by a 13/4 length victory.

The victory was watched by a 164,906 strong crowd, the second largest attendance in Kentucky Derby history. The highest ever attendance was in 2012 when 165,307 watched I’ll Have Another ride to victory. The last time Espinoza won this event was back in 2002 while riding War Emblem. The prize pool this year was $2,202,800.

“Awesome. I never dreamed I'd win a second Kentucky Derby, but here it is. This was a typical race for him. He ran like he always does,” said an ecstatic Espinoza. He continued, “Art (Sherman) just said: 'You know him, ride him.' I had the trip I wanted. I don't mess with him too much. I just stretch his legs and little bit and then let him do his thing. Pressure will be back on for the Preakness, but that's OK.” These words came from the official Kentucky Derby website.

Back in 1989 when Sunday Silence won the Kentucky Derby, trainer Charlie Whittingham, 77, became the oldest trainer to win this event, but this year, California Chrome’s trainer, Art Sherman (aged 77), beat this long-held record when his horse won. Speaking about the victory, Sherman said;

“Just awesome. I'm breathless. This is so cool. I think I rode the horse with Victor (Espinoza) the last 70 yards. It was a picture-perfect ride. He was right where he should have been all the way around.”

He then went on to say, “Coming down the stretch I was thinking: 'Keep rollin' big boy. Keep rollin'.' This has to be the sweetest moment of my life. To be my age and have something like this happen, what can you say? For all my friends in California, this is for you. We did it!”

This win earned California Chrome a massive $1,442,800 and it took the teams total earnings to $2,577,650. California Chrome covered the track in a time of 2:03:66 and paid $7, $5.60 and $4.20.