Derby Contenders

Prep Race History

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Date Race Grade Distance Finish Chart Replay
May 3 2014 Kentucky Derby 140 Churchill Downs I 1 REPLAY
Apr 5 2014 Santa Anita Derby Santa Anita Park I 1 1/8 Miles 1 REPLAY
Mar 8 2014 San Felipe Santa Anita Park II 1 1/16 Miles 1 REPLAY

Connections

Art Sherman

Trainer

Art Sherman got started in the racing industry when he moved to Los Angeles and started working at the racetrack for Rex Ellsworth in 1953.  Ellsworth is best known for his work with 1955 Kentucky Derby winner Swaps, and Sherman accompanied the horse when he won the Kentucky Derby in 1955. Sherman became a jockey in 1957 and rode for over 20 years before becoming a trainer in 1980.  Art Sherman now runs a stable with his sons Steve and Alan.

Victor Espinoza

Jockey

Espinoza made national headlines when he guided War Emblem to victory in the first two legs of the Triple Crown in 2002. The native of Mexico City, Mexico began riding in the United States in 1993 and has found great success on the California circuit. He won the 2000 Breeders’ cup Distaff aboard Spain and has ridden other great horses such as Evening Jewel, The Usual Q.T., Smiling Tiger, and Congaree.

Steve and Carolyn Coburn & Perry and Denise Martin

Owner

After the ups and downs of professional syndicate ownership the Coburns and the Martins formed DAP Racing, which partners their love of thoroughbreds with their love of fun.  California Chrome is the first race horse that the Coburns and Martins have campaigned.  

Pedigree

To handle the Derby distance, California Chrome might well have to tap into the influences further back in his pedigree.

His sire, Lucky Pulpit, didn't stay as far as his breeding suggested. A son of Pulpit from the immediate family of Unbridled's Song, Lucky Pulpit never won beyond 5 1/2 furlongs. He did place in a quartet of route stakes early in his career, including a photo-finish loss in the one-mile Pinjara on turf and a second in the 1 1/16-mile Santa Catalina (now the Bob Lewis), but he ultimately stuck to sprinting. His lone stakes win came in a five-furlong turf dash at Arlington Park.

From relatively small crops so far, the California stallion has sired two other stakes winners -- Grade 1-placed Rousing Sermon, who finished eighth in the 2012 Kentucky Derby, and the sprinter Luckarack.

California Chrome is the first registered foal from Love the Chase, who scored her only win in a low-level maiden claimer going a mile at Golden Gate Fields.

Although Love the Chase showed little on the track, she boasts an interesting pedigree pattern: she is inbred 3x3 to champion and noted producer Numbered Account.

A daughter of the great Buckpasser, and descended from the phenomenal female line of *La Troienne, Numbered Account reigned as the champion two-year-old filly of 1971. She went on to foal multiple Grade 1 star and successful sire Private Account, as well as Grade 1 queen Dance Number (ancestress of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver).

Love the Chase is by Not for Love (a son of Dance Number) and out of a mare by Polish Numbers (a son of Numbered Account). Not for Love and Polish Numbers didn't exactly live up to their blueblood pedigrees as racehorses, managing only to place in a single stakes apiece, but both atoned by becoming leading sires in Maryland.

California Chrome can claim more heft through the maternal line. His third dam, multiple stakes scorer and Grade 3-placed Chase the Dream, is by 1968 Epsom Derby hero Sir Ivor. She produced Amourette, winner of a pair of 1 3/8-mile turf stakes.

California Chrome's fourth dam is by French champion *Vaguely Noble, who beat Sir Ivor in the 1968 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and ranks as a premier source of stamina.

His fifth dam is Princess Ribot: as her name implies, she is by the immortal *Ribot, and out of a *Princequillo mare -- both potent forces for stamina. Princess Ribot was responsible for 1977 champion handicap mare Cascapedia.

Continuing further back, California Chrome hails from the family of Hall of Famer Swaps, a Cal-bred himself who successfully shipped East to plunder the 1955 Kentucky Derby.

The Swaps connection runs right through California Chrome's story in more ways than one. The aforementioned Numbered Account was herself out of a Swaps mare. Moreover, California Chrome's trainer, Art Sherman, actually galloped Swaps and tagged along with him to the Derby.

Two other Kentucky Derby winners -- Iron Liege (1957) and Clyde Van Dusen (1929) -- come from this branch of the line, while 1966 Derby star Kauai King traces to a common ancestress at a further remove.

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Los Alamitos Futurity Added to 2014-15 'Road to the Kentucky Derby' Series

The $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (Grade I) has been added to the list of races that comprise the 2014-15 “Road to the Kentucky Derby.” The series of 35 select races – 19 “Prep Season” races and 16 “Championship Series” races – will determine which horses qualify to the 141st running of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby.

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Derby Stories

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First time at the Oaks so that's why we have these crazy hats on, shaped like cheese hats and painted pink in honor of Bright Pink, which is a great charity.
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California Chrome is attempting to become only the fourth California-bred, Kentucky Derby winner in history and the first since Decidedly in 1962.