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California Chrome, Kentucky Derby Winner: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

California Chrome, Victor Espinoza, Kentucky Derby

Victor Espinoza celebrates after riding California Chrome to victory. (Getty)

California Chrome entered the Kentucky Derby as a strong favorite and didn’t disappoint. The colt emerged down the home stretch to win the Derby in 2:03:66 in a performance that lived up to the hype that preceded it.

Here’s what you need to know about Chrome’s victory:


1. He Paid $7 to Win

Art Sherman is the trainer for California Chrome and you can watch an interview with him about the race in the above video. His Kentucky Derby bio gives us some background on him:

Art Sherman got started in the racing industry when he moved to Los Angeles and started working at the racetrack for Rex Ellsworth in 1953. Ellsworth is best known for his work with 1955 Kentucky Derby winner Swaps, and Sherman accompanied the horse when he won the Kentucky Derby in 1955. Sherman became a jockey in 1957 and rode for over 20 years before becoming a trainer in 1980.

Art Sherman now runs a stable with his sons Steve and Alan called the Art Sherman Racing Stable in San Mateo, California.

Sherman set a record with Chrome’s win. Syracuse.com writes:

Starting from the fifth position as a 5-2 morning-line favorite, he aims to become the first California-bred Derby winner in 52 years and make Sherman, 77, the oldest winning trainer.

Sherman told Kentucky.com after the race:

This has to be the sweetest moment of my life. To be my age and have something like this happen, what can you say?


5. Jockey Victor Espinoza Won His Second Derby

California Chrome’s jockey Victor Espinoza has won the Kentucky Derby before and he won from the 5th position, which is the same position California Chrome raced from today. Sherman told Syracuse.com:

Victor says he likes it. Says he won the Kentucky Derby from the five (on War Emblem in 2002). I’m happy and I feel no pressure.

The Kentucky Derby describes Espinoza’s accomplishments as:

He began riding in the United States in 1993 and has found great success on the California circuit. He won the 2000 Breeders’ cup Distaff aboard Spain and has ridden other great horses such as Evening Jewel, The Usual Q.T., Smiling Tiger, and Congaree.

The fifth position has now produced more winners than any other spot, thanks largely to Espinoza.

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