Benefiting from a good jump out of the gate at the top of the downhill turf track at Santa Anita Park, Big Kick never looked back over the course of 1 3/4 miles as he rolled to victory in the San Juan Capistrano.
American trainer Wesley Ward's annual trip to Royal Ascot was off to a dazzling start opening day June 17, when 2-year-old colt Hootenanny dominated 23 overmatched rivals in the Windsor Castle Stakes.
With his Triple Crown assault aboard California Chrome behind him, jockey Victor Espinoza is set to add to his frequent flier miles when he leaves for England Sunday, June 15.
Listen to the connections of Tonalist and California Chrome reflect on the Belmont Stakes. watch video
Join the ranks of those who have tracked the shooting star journey of California Chrome. You don't have to like him. You can even pick against. But what would you do if this time, the hype turned out to be real?
"Most likely (California Chrome) will be in front of us early on," said Rajiv Maragh, rider of Wicked Strong. "...We'll have to go by in the stretch. I've had a couple of dreams the last few nights that I pass him.
Footwear company SKECHERS has signed on to sponsor California Chrome, who will shoot for the Triple Crown June 7 at Belmont Park.
California Chrome and Victor Espinoza take to the track for the first time together at Belmont Park. Watch Video
Triple Crown hopeful California Chrome May 28 picked back up where he left off the previous day, showing the same eagerness he displayed when galloping his customary two-mile circuit.
Victor Espinoza has been a model of consistency aboard California Chrome, but Belmont Park presents unique challenges during the running of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), said NYRA analyst and retired rider Richard Migliore.
Fostering a superstition born on the first stop of the Triple Crown, Belmont Park presented the connections of California Chrome with two saddlecloths upon his arrival.
Triple Crown hopeful California Chrome had his first gallop around Belmont Park's 1 1/2-mile oval May 22, going out on a sloppy track shortly after 6 a.m. with exercise rider Willie Delgado aboard.
Jockey Victor Espinoza received a hero's welcome May 18 at Santa Anita Park upon his return from his 1 1/2-length win in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) a day earlier aboard superstar California Chrome.
Watch the Preakness Stakes post race press conference featuring the connections of California Chrome. watch video
View Preakness Stakes 139 from paddock to press conference as California Chrome takes the second jewel of the Triple Crown! view slideshow
California Chrome and Victor Espinoza enter the Preakness winner's circle. Watch Video
Steven Coburn and Perry Martin's California Chrome kept his Triple Crown hopes alive with a smooth trip victory in the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Race Course May 17.
California Chrome's regular pilot Victor Espinoza has been here before, and he's not concerned about having a target on his back in the 2014 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
California Chrome splashed his way around a sloppy main track at Pimlico Race Course the morning of May 16 and was proclaimed ready to go for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) the following day.
California Chrome team puts sport in its best light. read blog
The $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I) May 17 at Pimlico Race Course will provide a joyous homecoming for Willie Delgado, the exercise rider of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner California Chrome.
Watch the connections of the Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome discuss their victory. watch video
One day after saddling California Chrome to win the 140th Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), trainer Art Sherman was still absorbing the magnitude of the achievement.
Favored California Chrome took command at the head of the lane and drew well clear to win the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Maybe California Chrome felt the needed boost of Art Sherman's old-time mount in the final furlong of the longest race of his life on Saturday, maybe he got there on heart and class alone.
Recovering jockey Jose Espinoza has been empowered by his younger brother's victory in the Kentucky Derby with California Chrome.
The Kentucky Derby winner returns after victory under Victor Espinoza, and is greeted by assistant Allan Sherman. watch video
Learn more about California Chrome and the journey that brought him to the 140th Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). watch video
California-based jockey will use his experience in five previous Derbys to help California Chrome wear the roses.
Improving Awesome Return took control in the stretch and held sway in the final furlong to earn his first stakes win in the $250,000 Snow Chief, the featured event on the California Gold Rush day card at Santa Anita April 26.
California Chrome, early favorite for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) took another step forward when he cruised four furlongs at his Los Alamitos headquarters the morning of April 19 in :47 4/5.
Every time he runs, California Chrome is more impressive than his last start, and the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 5 was no exception.
California Chrome and Candy Boy, the two favorites for the upcoming $1 million Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), both turned in final major drills March 29 for their highly anticipated meeting.
Following a dazzling win from California Chrome in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) March 8 at Santa Anita Park, trainer Art Sherman says he can concentrate on the best way to get to this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Favored California Chome proved he belongs on the Triple Crown trail with a front-running stampede to victory in the $300,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) March 8 at gleaming Santa Anita Park.
California Chrome worked five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 at Los Alamitos March 2 in preparation for the upcoming San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park. Jockey Victor Espinoza was aboard.
Steven Coburn and Martin Perry's homebred California Chrome galloped in the $250,000 California Cup Derby at Santa Anita Park Jan. 25, easily outdistancing 9-5 favorite Tamarando as he powered away from all the rest.
Spellbound made trainer Richard Mandella's quick cross-country trip worthwhile when she came from far out of it to capture the $200,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II) by a neck at 16-1 odds Jan. 19 at Santa Anita Park.
Echoing crowds of yesteryear and making one last memory, fans flocked into Betfair Hollywood Park for a final time Dec. 22. They were there until the lights went out on the Track of Lakes and Flowers.
Full Ransom, given a patient ride by Victor Espinoza, rallied from fifth near mid-stretch to score a 12-1 upset in the $100,000 Miesque Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 2-year-old fillies on the Betfair Hollywood Park turf Nov. 30.
A drop from grade I competition paid off for Emotional Kitten, who came roaring down the stretch to sweep past outsider Effie Trinket and win the $205,100 Mrs. Revere Stakes for 3-year-old fillies the night of Nov. 16.
Ridden with confidence by jockey Victor Espinoza, Bajan, the 4-5 favorite, responded with a decisive victory in the $100,000 Moccasin Stakes Nov. 9 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Favored Vagabond Shoes, circling the field under Victor Espinoza, reached the lead in deep stretch to edge Lucayan by a neck in the $200,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 24 on the turf.
Kettle Corn came from off the pace to win the $200,000 San Diego Handicap (gr. III), spoiling the return of Paynter to graded stakes competition July 27 at Del Mar.
Centralinteligence could be bound for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) after he swept past pacesetter Comma to the Top en route to his first stakes win June 29 in the Triple Bend Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park.
Jockey Victor Espinoza earned the 3,000th victory of his career when favored Flashy Delight easily won the fourth race May 31 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Bright Thought, a scintillating 3 1/4-length winner of the $150,000 San Luis Rey Stakes going 1 1/2 miles on turf March 16, has established a new world record time of 2:22.72, according to the American Racing Manual.
Bright Thought, making his graded stakes debut, pulled away in the stretch to capture the $150,750 San Luis Rey (gr. IIT) in course record time on the turf March 16 at Santa Anita Park.
Jockey Victor Espinoza put favored Teddy's Promise on the outside where she likes to be and the daughter of Salt Lake did the rest, rolling to an easy victory in the $250,000 Santa Monica Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park.
The $100,000 Senorita Stakes (gr. III) ended tragically for the victorious Bobina, who broke down a stride past the wire and was euthanized May 5 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
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