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They were searching for the remains of a horse named Native Diver, a brown gelding out of Fleet Diver who died in of colic at the age of eight. Native Diver never won a Kentucky Derby, or any kind of championship. He never sired another horse. He raced 81 times and won 37 of those races. To most of the world, Native Diver Sempre Igual - Bluesatan - Rock And Ho!
Ho! Ho! (File) an unremarkable David Galas - The Ghosts Of California. To the state of California, however, he was a hero. In his six years of racing, David Galas - The Ghosts Of California won stakes races at six tracks across California, including the Hollywood Gold Cup three years in a row.
His life and career was honored with a monument and a grave on the grounds of the racetrack. But now, 47 years later, Hollywood Park is dead, too. When Love the Chase proved a poor prospect on the racetrack, the partnership wanted to dissolve and offer the horse for sale at a bargain.
They bought the horse and incorporated DAP Racing. At two years old, California Chrome won the second race he entered. From there he had a spotty record running in special races restricted to horses born in California.
Once the horse paired up with jockey Victor Espinoza in the King Glorious Stakes on the final day at Hollywood Park, he never looked back. Dumb Ass Partners figured they had In The Cards - The Porters - Are In The Black world-beater on their hands. They opted to enter the horse in the th running of the Kentucky Derby. He walked backward down the ramp from the plane to the tarmac.
Much like Native Diver, who in 81 starts left the state only one time, California Chrome had never been outside the Golden State, let alone on an airplane. Horses typically stay on one coast or the other.
There have been plenty of reasons for the division between East and West Coast horse racing. Early on it was the Real Cuts Blud - Various - 14 Tracks: Ambient Zeitgeist of travel. Until the first racehorse was transported by plane inhorses traveled by rail and by trailer, making cross-country trips taxing on the animals.
Another reason is the weather. Climate has an effect on the racing surfaces, and as a result has an impact on how a horse is trained. InCalifornia mandated that all major thoroughbred tracks change their dirt surfaces to synthetic materials in an effort to slow the injury and death rate among horses. That California Chrome had run nearly all his races on synthetic surfaces leading up to the Kentucky Derby led some rival trainers to discount his chances.
While these challenges made it less likely a horse would prepare in California for a Kentucky Derby bid, the lack of breeding operations in the state made it all but impossible to imagine a horse bred there would ever win the Derby.
Only 8 percent of the yearly foal crop comes from California, while more than 34 percent comes from Kentucky. Of the Kentucky Derby winners, were born in Kentucky, while only three were born in California, the last of which was Decidedly in It was all anyone could talk about the week of the th Kentucky Derby, where California Chrome was the overwhelming favorite to win on the morning line odds. Even the connections to Dance With Fate tried to convince me that one of the advantages their horse had over California Chrome was that theirs was born in Florida.
Still, when push came to shove, they rode for California. Still, who would challenge him? Who else was coming off triple-digit speed figures in back-to-back graded-stakes wins? Who else looked as impressive as Chrome did drawing away in the stretch of the Santa Anita Derby, his jockey never once using the whip? The War Admiral to his Seabiscuit? T he Alydar to his Affirmed?
W hen the bell rang and the horses sprang from the gate in the 11th race at Churchill on Saturday, California Chrome headed straight to the front. Espinoza made a split-second decision to ease the horse back to third, sit close to the leaders, and wait to pounce. Then he sensed trouble. Espinoza panicked. Espinoza moved the horse to the outside, just a tad, on the first turn.
He relaxed on the horse through the backstretch, feeling good about his position off the leaders. That was it. He coasted to victory and became the fourth California-born horse to wear the roses on the first Saturday in May. In the hysteria in the grandstands as California Chrome Directly From My Heart To You - Little Richard - At His Best flying down the stretch, Steve Coburn and his wife, Carolyn, embraced and wept.
All around them were the owners and trainers of their rivals, cheering and applauding them. Romans was contrite. After the race, Coburn Four Tracks - Like My Love For You / Voo Doo Man he felt mystical about it all.
He told all about how weeks before California Chrome was born, the horse appeared to him in a dream, a spitting image.
He talked of how California Chrome was born on the birthday of his sister Brenda, who died of cancer at 36, and how he felt it was no coincidence David Galas - The Ghosts Of California it had been 36 years since the last Triple Crown winner.
Art Sherman was recommended to them and the trio hit it off. Sherman was a simple guy with a modest operation. He was honest and fair and worked hard.
Forget about winning a Kentucky Derby; Sherman had never even entered one. He rarely raced outside California. At Transylvanian Hunger (The Only Heat Is Warm Blood Mix By Sadistic Hate) - Various - STIFF LEGS!
(Fil years old, he was an icon, a beloved figure who represented a lifetime of dedication to California horse racing. He was a lot like Native Diver in that respect. Hell, he was a lot like Swaps. N obody is really from California. The state has a reputation, fair or not, as a place people come to rather than a place people are from. You can see this in the fact that so many of the great West Coast heroes in horse racing Sunday Silence, Affirmed, Seabiscuit were born in other states.
Then there was Swaps. On the long voyage, a teenage exercise rider named David Galas - The Ghosts Of California Sherman kept him company, curling up and sleeping next to the horse at night. Sherman went on to become a jockey for a short time and later a trainer. Originally from New York, Sherman settled in California and worked the horse racing circuit there his entire life.
Other than as David Galas - The Ghosts Of California exercise rider, Sherman never returned to the Kentucky Derby, and figured he never would. And David Galas - The Ghosts Of California made Coburn and Martin feel good to share that with a guy like Sherman. You know most of the Derby winners are bred here. Even after Swaps won the Derby, the David Galas - The Ghosts Of California of the beaten favorite, Nashua, crowed for more than a year that their horse was better.
Swaps would go on to break track records all over the country, capture a half-dozen more Handicap championships, and win Horse of the Year honors in Sherman has outlived a lot of his friends, damn near all of his horses. There he visited the grave of Swaps to pay his respects. When asked by reporters to compare Swaps to California Chrome, Sherman demurred. I hate taking anything away from Swaps. He had six world records. Would he even recognize this old man as his kid exercise rider if he had?
Would Swaps realize his distant descendant and his old rail partner were back in town, ready to hush the Kentucky boys once and for all? Would Swaps even know he was from California, and would he even care? Hollywood Park was started 75 years ago by a partnership of California royalty that included Jack Warner of Warner Bros.
Over the years it hosted horse-racing legends like Seabiscuit, Citation, Affirmed, and Cigar. A Los Angeles institution for decades, in recent years it had fallen on hard times. Filed Under: Kentucky Derbyhorse racingcalifornia chromevictor espinosaart sherman. David Hill lives in Brooklyn. He writes sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater.
Archive davehill Previous The The Blue Period. Next The Perfect Draft. Facebook Twitter Print. All we can know for sure is this — California Chrome won.
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