Is this finally the year of the elusive 12th Triple Crown?
Some information from Bleacherreport.com:
There are few horses in the history of racing with as much momentum as California Chrome carries into the Belmont Stakes, and the horse’s hopes of winning the Triple Crown are the most realistic in a long time.
Not only did California Chrome win at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, but he also won at the Santa Anita Derby, San Felipe Stakes, California Cup Derby and King Glorious Stakes
For a horse that is the son of a $8,000 mare and was studded for $2,500, few expected him to be a serious contender. As the distant relative of Seattle Slew (1977 Triple Crown winner), racing in big events is in his blood.
Horse racing insider Bill Oppenheim … about how tough the profession of breeding horses is and how hard it is to find a challenger worthy of winning all three races:
“I think it’s important to remember that it’s livestock being bred here, and you can only be so precise when you’re trying to breed. Even when we’re talking about human beings, full brothers and sisters can be vastly different, not only in temperament but in looks.
You always shoot for the best, but breeding is different from racing, so more of the genetics apply. It’s not one of those deals where you breed the best with the best and come out with the best. That’s not how it works.”
Source: Belmont Stakes Picks 2014
Daily Racing Form‘s John P.Sparkman penned an excellent analysis on how well California Chrome’s bloodlines compared to previous Triple Crown winners:
“…there is no way to argue that Lucky Pulpit is anywhere close to the same class as either a racehorse or sire as the sires of the 11 previous Triple Crown winners.”
If California Chrome can pull off the spectacular and take first place at the Belmont Stakes, the victory would prove to be even more amazing considering his underwhelming pedigree. Secretariat and Seattle Slew—Triple Crown winners in the 1970s—are buried deep within his bloodlines and could be an ancestral explanation for this horse’s surprising display of strength and speed in 2014.
Source: 2014 Belmont Stakes Field