Popular champion California Chrome, who earned legions of fans during his Triple Crown bid in 2014, has sired his first foal – a colt born Saturday night at historic Calumet Farm near Lexington, Kentucky.
The foal’s dam is millionaire Pay the Man, a star in the Ohio-bred ranks for several years. She won or placed in 35 stakes races from a total of 76 lifetime starts, testimony to her toughness and durability. Pay the Man retired as a 10-year-old in 2014, the year that California Chrome scored his Kentucky Derby (G1) victory, and this is her third foal.
Calumet Farm holds the record for the most Kentucky Derby wins by an owner (eight) and breeder (nine), making it an appropriate birthplace for California Chrome’s first foal.
After turning the Derby/Preakness (G1) double, California Chrome sought to make history by sweeping the Triple Crown in the Belmont (G1). But a stumbling start complicated his task and he ended up a dead-heat fourth.
California Chrome went on to be voted the 2014 Horse of the Year and champion three-year-old male. As a five-year-old in 2016, he earned another Horse of the Year crown through high-profile victories in the Dubai World Cup (G1), Pacific Classic (G1), and Awesome Again (G1).
Retired with a then-North American record bankroll of $14,752,650, California Chrome began his new career at stud at Taylor Made near Nicholasville, Kentucky, in 2017.
In other news of interest to “Chromies,” California Chrome’s three-year-old full brother, Faversham, is showing promise at Santa Anita. Second in his January 15 debut for Art Sherman, who also trained California Chrome, Faversham is pointing for the February 19 California Cup Derby – a race won by his famous older brother.
“I was very excited about his race,” Sherman said of Faversham’s first start in a six-furlong sprint. “He made up so much ground, and I knew that going a route he’ll be a much better horse, but I needed to get him started, get him a little experience, because I’m kind of behind on him.
“All the good three-year-olds have already run and proven themselves, so we’ll see what happens. We’re kind of pointing for the Cal Cup, it looks like.”
As with any siblings, California Chrome and Faversham have traits in common along with differences.
“They’ve got the same attitude,” the trainer added. “They’re kind of up front-type horses. He’s got a good mind, nothing bothers him. You could see that in the paddock. He’s just not as big and stout as Chrome was.”
Foal photo courtesy of Taylor Made Farm