Today, at 6:52 pm to be exact, California Chrome will look to become the first winner of horse racing’s coveted Triple Crown since Affirmed accomplished the feat in 1978. In order to do so he will have to top a field of 11 horses that will be running in the third, and final, leg of racing’s crown jewel’s, The Belmont Stakes.
There has not been a Triple Crown winner in my lifetime (spoiler alert: I’m 28), and despite not being a big horse racing fan I must admit that Chrome has captured my attention over the past 5 weeks by showcasing himself in such a way that makes him seem vastly superior to his competition. He has come into the Belmont with the chance to capture the Triple Crown, something I have seen before, a number of times, but I don’t think I can recall a horse doing so in such a comfortable fashion as California Chrome has.
He took the Kentucky Derby running away from the competition, and the Preakness seemed like a foregone conclusion when the horses entered the gates, with California Chrome clearly outclassing his competitors in Baltimore.
He comes in as an overwhelming favorite on the betting line at an astounding 3-5 (meaning to win 3 dollars you have to wager 5), a line which, in my opinion, makes him unbet-able, if such a phrase exists, but I certainly am not betting against him.
Whether he wins it or not California Chrome has accomplished something this year, he has gotten me to care about horse racing, even if it is only for a few weeks. Gaining the interest of a casual observer is probably the best thing a horse can do for his sport, even if his names doesn’t go alongside Secretariat and War Admiral when it’s all said and done.
In my (very) unprofessional opinion, Chrome will complete something that no other horse has in 36 years today, taking home all three legs of the Triple Crown, and I look forward to watching it.
And possibly testing out one of those Belmont Jewel’s.