USA: Turf no trouble to California Chrome

Report: USA, Saturday

Del Mar: Hollywood Derby (Grade 1) 1m1f, turf, 3yo

KENTUCKY DERBY winner California Chrome (Art Sherman/Victor Espinoza) made no mistake on his turf debut as he comfortably handled five rivals in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby.

The hugely popular chestnut colt was winning his first race since the Preakness Stakes as he came home about three lengths clear of Queen’s Plate winner Lexie Lou in the $300,000 event, now run at Del Mar following the closure of its former home Hollywood Park at the end of last year.

Sent off 7-10 favourite, the dual Classic winner broke alertly and was always prominent thereafter, although he ceded the lead in the early stages to Sawyer’s Hill before taking command on the far turn.

None of California Chrome’s opponents was able to land a glove on him as he won without being asked a serious question in a time of 1m47.88s to land his fourth Grade 1 triumph of 2014 after the Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

It may be just enough to push him over the line in voting for the US Horse of the Year award, which is unusually open this year with several other candidates such as Bayern, Main Sequence, Untapable and Shared Belief.



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