California Chrome becomes richest horse in history with win in Dubai

“California Chrome earns decisive win, and vindication, in $10-million Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest race.”

John Cherwa | LA Times

California Chrome became the highest-earning thoroughbred in North American history Saturday when he impressively and decisively won the $10-million Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse in the United Arab Emirates.

It was vindication for the popular California-bred. Chrome finished second in the race last year, part of a disappointing campaign for the 4-year-old. Returning to win this race was one of the reasons he was brought back as a 5-year-old. Most horses of Chrome’s caliber are placed into stud by that age.

Chrome had more than $6.5 million in earnings before winning $6 million in Saturday’s race. The former record-holder was Curlin, with about $10.5 million in earnings.

There was concern that Chrome would be hindered by his No. 11 post and some recent walks where he appeared lathered. But it didn’t matter under the lights Saturday as trainer Art Sherman had the horse prepared just right.

Victor Espinoza sharply broke him and took him up near the lead. He ran most of the race three and at times four wide before accelerating in the stretch in a way that truly underscored the horse’s place in history. The winning margain was almost four lengths.

It was even more impressive when, after the race, it was seen that Chrome’s saddle had slipped back near his hind end, yet it did not deter him.

“The saddle was slipping back a little further and further,” Espinoza said. “So I didn’t want to take any chance, so I let [him] go.”

 

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AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
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