We may be looking at our first triple crown in 36 years, with Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome coming out in front in this afternoon’s 139th running of the Preakness Stakes.
Coming into the race as the favorite, California Chrome got off to a slow and steady start, much the same way he did in Kentucky two weeks ago. He maintained third place to start the race, but down the stretch, he kicked into high gear and came out on top. In second was Ride on Curlin and Social Inclusion in third, but it wasn’t even as close as it sounds as California Chrome won by at least two lengths.
A dozen horses have tried and failed to gain the triple crown since Affirmed won it in 1978, with the most recent being I’ll Have Another in 2012, who didn’t even compete in the Belmont Stakes that year. Whether California Chrome’s got the goods or not remains to be seen, and an injury scare this past Thursday seemed to put his chance at the triple crown in jeopardy, but he’s certainly shown himself to be a stud thus far.
The eyes of the world will be on this year’s Belmont Stakes, which is scheduled to run on June 7. The three week break between the last two legs has typically been the Achilles heel of triple crown contenders, so it’ll certainly be interesting to see what happens come race time. For now, let’s enjoy this big win…