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California Chrome, The World's Best Horse


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#1 (Folsom Trails)

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 09:12 AM

California Chrome, already the top rated racehorse in the world seeks to add to his resume in the Breeders Cup Classic run at Santa Anita on November 5th. He is a solid favorite off his current form in the 5 million dollar race that usually decides Horse of the Year. An award he has won once already in 2014 as a 3 year old when he narrowly missed his bid to become a Triple Crown winner running a close 4th in a troubled trip Belmont Stakes.

 

Now 5 years old and stronger and better than he has ever been he looks like an easy winner on paper. Races aren't won on paper though and he will have to beat some good ones such as Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, top handicap horse Frosted and impressive Travers Stakes winner and track record breaker at Saratoga, Arrogate.

Others include hard knockers Effinex (named for an ex wife, get it?) Shaman Ghost and Hopportunity. Also Keen Ice who beat Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. There is shipper and Irish bred Found too, plus some live longshots. It should be a good one.

 

California Chrome who has won the Dubai World Cup already this year ($10 million race) has been an unbelievable story. The very modestly California bred horse nearly won a Triple Crown although 12 furlongs (1 1/2 miles) the Belmont distance may have been a bit too long for his liking. At 10 furlongs (1 1/4 mile) the distance of the Classic, he seems unbeatable. In fact he looks so good right now 12 furlongs could easily be in his wheelhouse too but he only needs to go the 10.

 

Chrome can join the legends like Secretariat, Kelso, Forego, Affirmed, Seattle Slew and Spectacular Bid in status if he can win the Classic. He also will have an opportunity to run in the inaugural Pegasus World Cup in January to be run at Gulfstream Park in Florida. That race will replace the Dubai World Cup as the richest race in the world with a $12 million purse. He will be 6 years old and is a rarity in today's game where horses are usually retired for stud duty at age 3 and 4 where they are far more valuable to their owners. He has to do it on the race track but if he could pull off both races along with his Dubai World Cup win he could make a case for being the best horse of all time.

Old timers like myself don't really think he could actually beat legends mentioned above but if he wins both, he would certainly be in discussions like Ruth or Mays and Jack Nicklaus or Tiger. Gretzky or Bobby Orr. A generational argument. One thing is sure. He would be the richest horse ever by far. He already is. And he still will go to stud despite his modest breeding. A great rags to riches story already, regardless of the outcome of these two races.



#2 bordercolliefan

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 09:49 AM

He is an incredible story. I think that like Secretariat and Lance Armstrong, he will be discovered to have an oversized heart or some other genetic fluke that accounts for his success. That kind of anomaly is not necessarily passed down to offspring--Secretariat's many offspring are mostly mediocre--so it will be interesting to see how successful Chrome is as a racing sire.

#3 (Folsom Trails)

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 11:22 AM

Thanks for the input bordercolliefan. Interesting comments about the oversized heart. That explained everything about Secretariat after his autopsy. It's true Secretariat did not come close to duplicating himself although he was a successful brood mare sire. As a life long follower of the sport it's my opinion that CC's success is more from the fact he has stayed racing.
Most Derby winners and top 3 year olds don't even race at 4. A race horse is not fully grown until age 5. That's why so many are injured and retired early. They are pushed to their limits well before full grown maturity. Years ago it was common to see horses race even at age 7 and 8. Not today, especially the top horses.
Chrome does have a great heart though regardless of the size. He is also a Freak ( a complimentary racing term) because he has far surpassed his very modest breeding. Secretariat was a Blue Blood and lived up to it. Chrome is the opposite, he has pauper breed if you will yet he is one of the all time greats.

#4 bordercolliefan

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 12:07 PM

Wow, you are very well-informed. It is curious how many common interests we have...

I love horses (own one, lease one), but actually have very mixed feelings about horse racing for the reasons you describe. The horse racing industry spits out a steady stream of broken down, untrained, maladjusted 3 and 4 year olds who weren't successful enough to continue racing or enjoy a cushy retirement. Some of them will find second careers as hunter/jumpers or eventers, but many are not sound or quiet enough. It's a bad situation. That said, the grace and power of a galloping horse is breathtaking to see, so I understand why people love it.

#5 (Folsom Trails)

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 03:09 PM

Thank you bordercolliefan, they say great minds think alike :2thumbsup: You might say I earned my knowledge (lost $$$ over the years lol) but it's true there is nothing like a galloping horse and I have been hooked since I was old enough to go to the races. As a horse owner you certainly know the situation.

Players know the risks to both human and equine but we still love the sport for all it's high's and lows. Breeders Cup is usually a great two day affair with great betting opportunities. As much as I love CC and will be rooting for him I will probably place a small wager to try and beat him as his odds are not great and I am basically a long shot player anyway. I hope I am winning when I do so I can give them back some of THEIR money lol..



#6 bordercolliefan

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 08:03 AM

Well good luck, keep us posted on your picks!

By the way, I shouldn't have implied that only racing injures horses... there are many early-retired, unsound jumping horses, too.

#7 (Folsom Trails)

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 02:32 PM

Thanks BCF. I will post a few picks and horses of interest in the different races as I study them in the preceding days. Would welcome the same from anyone who may be playing on those days too. It's funny about jumpers though. You'd think there would be way more injuries in that than in racing itself but the top end rate of a race horse on a dirt surface is stress to the max for these not yet fully grown horses.

Even at age two they are pushed hard as they look for future Derby horses. The Breeders Cup Juvenile is THE race for two year olds. Their Classic or Derby so to speak and the injury rate and future un soundness rate is very high. Only two Juvenile winners have ever actually won the Kentucky Derbt at age 3. That's out of 30 + years too. Most winners of the Juvenile rarely even make it to the Derby yet once they win the two year old race most are automatically named the future Derby favorite. Well not to experienced players like myself anyway.

The breeding industry and the racing industry itself has been under severe critique these past 30 years too. The influx of drugs to the game along with the penchant to breed speed to speed instead of stamina and distance to the modern race horse has made a more brittle and unreliable horse than the old war horses of the past glory years.
Those babies would run 40 to 60 races in a career. Derby winner Carry Back ran 26xs before the Derby. Many after. Today a horse is lucky to make 10-15 starts in his whole career. The top ones anyway who are retired to stud as soon as possible and or injured That's what makes the rags to riches story of California Chrome so special.

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 06:15 PM

I should also add that while American breeding has gone downhill, breeding for speed and with the influx of drugs, European breeding thrives. There it's pretty much drug free, they breed for distance and stamina and run mostly on grass surfaces which is less stressful than dirt. Yet Chrome beat their best in the World Cup anyway.

#9 bordercolliefan

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 08:23 PM

Wow, you know much more about the inner workings of racing than I do.

Would you favor a law banning racing before age 3 or 4? I think 2-year old racing is truly appalling. Our mare is at a breeding farm right now, so we see all the offspring of different ages-- the one-year olds are pastured together, the 2-year olds, the 3-year olds etc. This breeder (who is breeding for dressage and jumping horses) sends them out to begin under saddle training at age 4. At age 2, they are still visibly less than full size! Even at age 4, they are technically still growing. Racing seems like a tremendous strain on limbs that have not fully formed yet... though I guess some would argue that children have no trouble running and jumping on a playground, and they aren't fully grown, either.

#10 (Folsom Trails)

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Posted 27 October 2016 - 02:23 AM

Not sure banning at that age is the answer though in a perfect world most definitely yes. Iron horses of yesteryear were able to race many times even at age two and still thrive in their later years. If anything I would set limits at stud requirements. Allowing maybe only 5 year olds and up. This way horses will have to stay in racing. Be bred more for distance and longevity. It will stop these early retirements. Now they win a race and retire. Regardless nothing will help until they get the drugs under control. We are breeding junkie horses and many pass on their physical detriments as well to their offspring. Europe is the model.

#11 (Folsom Trails)

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Posted 27 October 2016 - 06:51 AM

Good Day Sacramento has Ken Rudolph ( former TVG host) at California Chrome's barn! CC looks great. You can probably catch him until about 10 o'clock. :)



#12 (Folsom Trails)

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 11:48 AM

Derby winner Nyquist was retired with swelling in his ankle. He will not face California Chrome. This is how it goes. Too valuable not to go to stud where he'll now stand at 40K for each mare brought his way...Some studs can cover as many as 100 - 200 mares a year and some studs can last 20 years...great work if you can get it.
Friday has the Filly and Mare Classic and features unbeaten 3 year old Songbird. She was Champion two year old filly and has never really been tested. Is she that good? Well she has been kept in her own group until now but will face older horses for the first time including Champion Beholder. Some say Beholder has seen better days and Songbird will handle her. There are others in there too so it really should be a great race. Should Songbird win she will elevate her status to the ranks of Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta though still not up to those two imo. Depending on how she wins if she does and remaining unbeaten will go a long way to making those comparisons. She could be as good or even better, though for my money Rachel Alexandra at her best would beat any other filly at their best including Zenyatta. Many would argue with that though lol.....Stay tuned for more updates

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 05:35 PM

The Dirt Mile on Friday looks like a good one. Not considered as prestigious as the Turf Mile on Saturday it has attracted a quality field led by Dortmund Aka Dortzilla for his tremendous size. 17 + hands. Usually large horses like this are closers but Zilla is a speedster. He goes out and says catch me. Which is what two legends have done to him the past two years. First Triple Crown winner American Pharoah beat him in the Kentucky Derby and this year California Chrome has taken the measure of him twice. This is why he opted for this race Friday instead of the Classic on Saturday. The lesser distance of the mile suits hm quite well too.
It won't be a cake walk though. I mean it could be. Dortmund is high quality but...
There are other nice horses in there including Runhappy, Breeders Cup Sprint winner in 2015 and Sprint Champion who is stretching out to a mile from last year. He is my pick to upset. He will not have it easy beating Zilla. It's only his second start for the year that is almost over due to physical problems but his one race prepping for this race was a decent 4th, run at a mile too. Not bad for the long lay off he had. The thinking is he will improve off that effort and move forward, hoping he is now sound. As for the mile as compared to sprinting, he is by Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver so between that fact and his last effort it shouldn't be a problem. Last year this horse was quite Freakish....that means fast...GL

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 04:51 AM

Going out on a limb in the filly Classic (Distaff) with longshot Curalina. Not only will undefeated 3 year old Songbird (11-11) face 6 year old champ Beholder but also last years 3 year old champ Stellar Wind, now 4 who has beaten Beholder twice this year by slight margins. The thinking is those 3 will set up a rapid pace banging heads while Curalina who is a closer will benefit from that pace. It's always easy on paper lol..My bets are always small ones and usually on longshots.

Tomorrow I will post a few more picks while probably trying in vain to beat California Chrome. Good as he is he is not Secretariat who lost 5 X's in his fabled career. I personally beat him twice too with Prove Out and Onion. Long long ago..GL



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Posted 05 November 2016 - 04:56 AM

Tamakus, a longshot beat Dortmund, the heavy favorite who was fourth and also beat RunHappy who only managed to beat only one horse after being on the lead setting a blistering pace. That pace knocked him out and also Dortmund who was chasing that early pace. Tamakus, a European import was winning his first race in the United States and is a major player now.

 

The Filly Distaff was one of the best races ever. An Instant Classic with the great war mare Beholder, now 6 years old and running in her very last race and out gaming the raw talent and speed of 3 year old Songbird who has now tasted defeat for the very first time. They were throwing down the entire length of the stretch. Nose to nose right to the wire. Songbird was valiant in defeat. This was the first time she was meeting older and top horses of this caliber. Beholder was relentless to win but Songbird gave her nothing. It was ding dong from the Quarter Pole to the Wire. Many thought Songbird had won including ex great jockey Jerry Baily on NBC. It was that tight. It was the closest Photo Finish you could have to a Dead Heat. Just a bob of the head really.. The race call by Larry Collmus was outstanding as well. Thrilling and losing his voice at the wire. Goose bump time.. :SCHWEEEET:

Enjoy the race (photo is at 8:50 mark)

 

https://youtu.be/UWgDx2iGE3I

 

 

 

Dirt Mile

https://youtu.be/YuyePQikrRk






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