ROEDEMEIER: It's already three in a row for California Chrome

ROEDEMEIER: It's already three in a row for California Chrome

Credit: AP Photo/Garry Jones

Victor Espinoza rides California Chrome to a victory during the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 3, 2014, in Louisville, Ky.



Posted on May 18, 2014 at 9:45 PM

California Chrome is like my father's 1955 Oldsmobile 88 at cruising speed.

If you need to pass, just punch the accelerator and there's always a little extra.

As far as I'm concerned Cal Chrome has already won "a triple crown" by sweeping three Grade One stakes races in six weeks.

Win the Santa Anita Derby, the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness with hardly a challenge and I'm buying that as Horse of the Year.

The Preakness was a little tougher, thanks to an old rival from the Derby. But after California Chrome and Ride on Curlin, it was a bunch of horses that weren't good enough for the Derby or the Preakness.

The three horses that ran in the Kentucky Derby, finished first, second and fourth in Baltimore.

Social Inclusion ran a nice race but his Pioneer of the Nile pedigree caught up with him at a mile and an eighth.      

California Chrome has now won six races in a row. And can you imagine how dominating he might have been if he caught this bunch on his home track at Santa Anita.

And his time on Saturday, with a decent pace was the fastest Preakness since Big Brown. Perhaps that will end the yapping about the slow time in the Derby, which by the way, was dictated by the pace.

So I'm suggesting that if California Chrome makes it seven wins in a row and four Grade One Stakes in a row that we give this Cal bred not the Triple Crown but the Golden Sombrero.

And please don't be disappointed if Chrome can't run a mile and a half on a deep sandy track in New York. Only a handful of horses are up to that rare marathon in Elmont, N. Y.

Danza and Wicked Strong and Intense Holiday are all waiting to spoil the Triple Crown for American horse racing fans. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chrome is not even the favorite in three weeks.

A lot of Derby and Preakness winners have hit the wall in the Belmont as some long shot staggers home to victory. But there is a ray of hope. This has been a year that produced a lot of three year olds, who are pedigree challenged for distance.

A mile and a half? Most of them quit running at a mile and an eighth. Consider this. If California Chrome gets a sensible pace, he might be the one still putting one foot in front of the other at the finish line.

Of course, it only takes one grinder, one horse in a steady gallop in the last quarter mile to shatter your Triple Crown dreams.

This will be California Chrome's ultimate challenge. But sombrero or not, he is still a champion. Nobody can ever take away his six wins in a row and three Grade One victories. He has already made history and elevated thoroughbred racing. Go Chrome.