Sunday, May 18, 2014

California Chrome wins Preakness

Next stop Belmont…
Coburn and partner Perry Martin bred an $8,000 mare to a $2,500 stallion to produce California Chrome. Based on the colt's humble breeding, he probably shouldn't be on the verge of making history.
Donald Douglas has more linkage stuff 

Will he even run in the Belmont?  It is not yet clear if he will…
California Chrome can wear a nasal strip at Belmont!


  1. A come-from-behind horse in a good race.

    Be interesting to see him in the Belmont.

  2. I watch the Triple Crown Races with trepidation, because I don't like or approve of the early beginning for Thoroughbred horses on the track. I watch no other races, but my love of horses and competition makes the Triple Crown comfortable so long as none of the field breaks down, as has happened in the past.

    California Crown is a magnificent athlete, everything about him from his conformation to his stamina is spectacular. In particular California Crown has fantastic coordination, dressage worthy, shown by his lead change before the final straight. Reminds me of Big Brown in 2008. I want Ca. Crown to win the Belmont and become the new "Affirmed" and stand with the greatest (IMO) "Secretariat."

    That said, if a problem should occur in the Belmont I want the jockey to feel it (yes, you can "feel" a stride problem in your knees, and thighs in not racing) and pull him up as Kent Desormeaux did 'Big Brown" at the a great deal of nasty criticism, which reflects the mind set of all too many horse owners. Jockey Desormeaux was vindicated two weeks later when all photographs were reviewed and the right rear shoe of "Big Brown" was seen to be loose, sliding around, and coming off....yet "appeared" in place to the spectator eye. Nonsense...Desormeaux felt it and reined up, probably saving his horse's life.

    A dislodged shoe can cause an irreparable broken leg and subsequent euthanasia. "Barbaro" won the Derby in 2006, but broke down in the Preakness (The jocky felt it and pulled up as soon as he could, but too late) due to severe injury to his right rear leg, survived valiant attempts to save him, but was put down when it became too complicated due to laminitus in all legs with a severe abscess in the original injured leg...a potential for any horse when forced to be still for a substantial period while healing. They need all four legs for support. Horses are fragile animals, a feature of their ability to flee predators in ancestral days, and the racing breeds are subject to the rules of elementary physics where their leg bones meet the forces of high speed.

    I've run on like this because my love for horses is boundless and just wanted top say what I think somewhere. We've had horses for very long time, with only age and injury dismounting me. Our last 3 lived out their lives on a friend's farm with 9 acres of pasture and a bevy of 10 year old girls to ride them, much to their delight...compared to my 200 lb butt.

    Horses and dogs are integral parts of life for me...I can not live without them. Thanks EBL for the space to say so.

  3. Trivia: Do you see any similarities in this horse photo and the one EBL posted? This one is "Secretariat."

  4. Thanks for sharing your expertise, Ari.

    One of the most compelling vids on YouTube for me is the broadcast of the 1973 Belmont, both for the magnificence of Secretariat and the greatness of Chic Anderson's call. Every time I hear "moving like a tremendous machine" I get goose bumps.

    1. Yes, Secretariat in the Belmont was spell binding...he began accelerating before the final turn, then continued accelerating all the way around it, and accelerated even more down the straight to the take 25 lengths at the wire. Tremendous machine indeed. There may never be another horse quite like him. Ever.

  5. Reference your update: This is a potentially representative action of how big money in the horse racing world can squash the small operator of a small ranch or farm. A little late, but effective in terms of long term fame and valuation. It is one of the several reason I dislike Thoroughbred racing. Literally millions of dollars were at stake for every horse in the fields at both the Derby and the Preakness...all of it based upon how the individual horses finished. California Chrome, essentially a $10,000 initial investment ($8k cost + $2k Stud fee), leaped to a a multi-million dollar horse after the Derby and Preakness.

    From what I can find, the New York rules allow a contestant to apply for permission to use the nasal strips, so it isn't yet a prohibition for California Chrome. We will see shortly I guess.

    For the record, nasal strips are no more performance enhancing per se than proper racing horse shoes..they reduce stress on the animal, in the legs for one and in the heart and lungs for the other. If you've ever seen a highly stressed and hard worked horse (or human for that matter) bleeding from the nostrils during, or at the end of an event, due to induced pulmonary hemorrhage, well...that is the risk the strips are trying to avoid. Just as proper shoes reduce the risk of leg and hoof injury...and on fine horses the shoes are frequently custom one of a kind work for individual horses as the anatomy indicates.

    Behind closed doors it is very likely the major breeder and racing fancy could not have been more interloper had dipped in to what they consider their collective of cash. With most animal breeding sports, follow the money when "influence" counts and a pie is divided. It actually has a negative impact on what breeding is conducted due to "style" preferences of the influential. I've seen it in the horse world and the dog world and is one of the reasons I usually avoided "conformation shows" per se (except when it was necessary, such as in a "Futurity") and participated mostly in working events...e.g., where the animal must do something to win. Racing is obviously one of those "do something" events, and my objection to it today is based upon the young age the horses are begun on the track, long before the anatomical structure of the body & skeleton is even near mature and sound. It just isn't necessary from the horse's standpoint...however, it is dictated by the cost of horse and their training...the longer they are in training the more thy cost before they earn a dime. Witness the Gran Prix jumper and event horses who are barely "green" at age 7 ...and cost a fortune as a result.

    For the reason I've cited above comparing horse shoes and nasal strips, I hope the NY powers that be allow the strips. He really is one fine horse. I'd love to see him run the Belmont and retire to stud, with cross training for show jumping or dressage....endeavors he could participate in safely for another dozen years at least.

    1. And...New York has agreed to allow the nasal strips. So the race is one, so to speak. Now please let it be safe and not a repeat of Big Brown in the Belmont or worse, Barbaro in the Preakness. California Chrome deserves the win and then a happy retirement bedding the best females in the land...or just nibbling on clover in his paddock.

      The TOP Toad may mock me, but he's not a horseman...I really do fear for the welfare of the young horses in racing. I believe if enough of us make a clamor we can make a difference...we have before, as I said about the NRCHA....and as de rigueur in the Gran Prix jumping and eventing world.


I had to stop Anonymous comments due to spam. But I welcome all legitimate comments. Thanks.