California Chrome: Root for or Against?

by: Sean Nix

The dust has settled on the Kentucky Derby…..

The talk has now turned to the winner of the Kentucky Derby, California Chrome and his possible run at history.  Racing fans in America have long awaited another Triple Crown winner with the last being Affirmed in 1978.  Each year the Kentucky Derby winner is thrust into the Triple Crown spotlight seconds after crossing the finish line underneath the Twin Spires, whether deserving or not.  I’ve seen 10 others (9 that made it to the Belmont starting gate) win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness only to fail in the final jewel of the Triple Crown. As a racing fan myself, I would love nothing more than to see a horse win the Triple Crown, but for it to be California Chrome, I’m not sold.

Alysheba, Sunday Silence, Silver Charm, Funny Cide and Smarty Jones, those were household names that everyone knew.  Some of these horses are held in the highest regard throughout racing.  I can’t picture California Chrome ever being mentioned in the same breath as any listed above.  I’m not knocking this years Kentucky Derby winner nor taking anything away from him or his connections, but take a minute to think about this: If California Chrome were to win the Triple Crown, would you consider him a better horse than Alysheba or Sunday Silence, two horses that failed in their quest to win the Triple Crown? I certainly couldn’t.

California Chrome heads to Pimlico for the 2nd jewel of the Triple Crown this Saturday with the hopes and dreams of racing fans across America. Racing fans are thirsting for a horse to make that run at greatness, but I will be looking for an upset.  When a horse finally does win the Triple Crown, and it will happen, I want to be able to mention this horse’s name when I mention some of the greatest of all time, I don’t think I can do that with California Chrome, at least not yet.