The Belmont Stakes Morning Line is out, the horses are in the barn, and the chance for Triple Crown history is upon us.
Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner, California Chrome has the chance to win the first Triple Crown in 36 years. From the first set of announced odds, he’s remained the favorite of the field. This likely has little to do with an emotional desire to see a Triple Crown, and more to do with California Chrome being one bad son of a gun.
Few horses in recent history have had the break that California Chrome has. Jockey Victor Espinoza has shown that he has the skill and bond with his horse to know when to rein him back and when to put the spurs to him. The explosive third turn break at the Preakness proves all of this.
Every bit of this is well-traveled territory. It’s nothing anyone hasn’t already said. There’s one reason California Chrome remains the favorite and why we could possibly see history being made: track conditions.
Belmont Park had some wet conditions earlier in the week, but the race day track conditions have been amazing. With a fast track, there’s no reason California Chrome can’t pace himself to deal with the mile-and-a-half at Belmont. Questions of his ability to handle the distance should not be questions. He finished both the Derby and the Preakness with gas in the tank. Belmont should be no problem.
The one and only thing that can threaten California Chrome as a 3-5 favorite is the 15-1 Commanding Curve. He, along with 12-1 Ride On Curlin and 6-1 Wicked Strong present a serious challenge. Each of the three have the goods to make California Chrome work for his win. While the threat is there, all signs point to California Chrome handling things with relative ease.
To see a Triple Crown is one of those once-in-a-lifetime things. Unlike recent favored close calls like Big Brown and Silver Charm, California Chrome looks to have more of a chance than any of them.
The safest bet of all today when the Call To Post is played, is to get your father on speed dial and remember where you are as history happens.