Kentucky Derby 140

View the unfolding of California Chrome's victory in the Kentucky Derby!

California Chrome walks over to the Paddock prior to the 2014 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

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Photo: Rick Schmitt

California Chrome circles the Churchill Downs paddock May 3, 2014.

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Photo: Rick Samuels

Victor Espinoza aboard California Chrome in the Post Parade before the 140th Kentucky Derby.

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Photo: Rick Schmitt

And They're Off in the Kentucky Derby!

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Photo: Courtney V. Bearse

The field breaks from the gate on the new big board.

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Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

California Chrome and the rest of the field leave the starting gate for the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby.

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Photo: Chad B. Harmon

The field breaks well from the starting gate. The Derby was witnessed by the second largest crowd of all time, 164,906, at Churchill Downs. The all-time mark was set two years ago.

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Photo: Chad B. Harmon

California Chrome, Samraat, and We Miss Artie leave the starting gate.

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Photo: Chad B. Harmon

The Kentucky Derby field runs first time by the stands.

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Photo: Rick Samuels

The Derby field heads towards the first turn.

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Photo: Dave Harmon

California Chrome with jockey Victor Espinoza catches some dirt the first time by the clubhouse Saturday evening May 3, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.

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Photo: Skip Dickstein

California Chrome on the final turn.

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Photo: Chad B. Harmon

After six furlongs in 1:11.80, California Chrome, always in contention while racing between horses, eased to Uncle Sigh and Chitu without being asked. Intense Holiday, Danza, Vicar's in Trouble, and Tapiture made headway, but once Espinoza asked California Chrome at the head of the lane after a mile in 1:37.45, he exploded. He opened up a five-length lead at the eighth pole and won geared down with Espinoza waving his stick to the crowd.

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Photo: Chad B. Harmon

California Chrome and Victor Espinoza come off the final turn with the lead.

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Photo: Chad B. Harmon

"At the three-eighths pole I thought it was over," Espinoza said. "The others seemed to be struggling just a little bit. When we hit the head of the lane and I asked him, he put his head down and went on."

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Photo: Chad B. Harmon

"He's an amazing horse," Espinoza said. "He started very well. I wanted to let him go to the front, but I backed off. I went to the outside early and it wasn't a problem."

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Photo: Dave Harmon

California Chrome is a perfect 4-for-4 this year and has won five straight. He began his 3-year-old campaign against Cal-breds in the California Cup Derby Jan. 25 at Santa Anita Park, winning the 1 1/16-mile race by 5 1/2 lengths. In the March 8 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) he went wire-to-wire going 1 1/16 miles, topping Midnight Hawk and Kristo in a 7 1/4-length romp. He hit his best stride in the April 5 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), drawing clear by 5 1/4 lengths over Hoppertunity and Candy Boy.

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Photo: Mathea Kelley

California Chrome with Victor Espinoza,

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Photo: Courtney V. Bearse

"I knew he'd be the horse to beat once we got him here," Sherman said.

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Photo: Courtney V. Bearse

Commanding Curve came from far back to get the place, finishing 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Danza, who had a rough trip early and late. Danza was 2 3/4 lengths ahead of fourth-place finisher Wicked Strong, who was followed by Samraat, Dance With Fate, Ride On Curlin, Medal Count, Chitu, We Miss Artie, General a Rod, Intense Holiday, Candy Boy, Uncle Sigh, Tapiture, Harry's Holiday, Vinceremos, Wildcat Red, and Vicar's in Trouble.

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Photo: Rick Samuels

California Chrome

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Photo: Dave Harmon

Victor Espinoza looks back at the competition on the way to winning the 140th running of The Kentucky Derby.

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Photo: Skip Dickstein

Victor Espinoza is jubilant after winning the 140th running of The Kentucky Derby aboard California Chrome.

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Photo: Skip Dickstein

Victor Espinoza giving a fist pump after winning the 140th Kentucky Derby on California Chrome.

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Photo: Rick Schmitt

California-bred Swaps won the Derby in 1955 with Sherman working as an exercise rider for trainer Mesh Tenney. Morvich, in 1922, also won the Derby as a Cal-bred.

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Photo: Rick Schmitt

The victory was worth $1,417,800 to his connections. California Chrome has now earned $2,552,650 with seven wins in 11 starts.

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Photo: Skip Dickstein

California Chrome, with Victor Espinoza, wins the Kentucky Derby.

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Photo: Anne M. Eberhard

Lucky Pulpit, the sire of the Derby winner, is a son of Pulpit--Lucky Soph, by Cozzene, who stands at Harris Farms near Coalinga, Calif. California Chrome's dam, Love the Chase, was an $8,000 purchase by Steve Coburn and Perry Martin. She won one of six starts, an $8,000 maiden claimer at Golden Gate Fields.

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Photo: Rick Samuels

"This horse just loves to run," Coburn said of California Chrome. "To see this horse win the Kentucky Derby, I have no words right now, except we've got another California-bred to win the Kentucky Derby."

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Photo: Skip Dickstein

Victor Espinoza celebrating aboard California Chrome after winning the 140th Kentucky Derby.

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Photo: Rick Schmitt

Victor Espinoza gives California Chrome a pat on the neck after winning the 2014 Kentucky Derby.

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Photo: Skip Dickstein

The Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner, ridden by Victor Espinoza, got the 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.66 to give his jockey a second Derby victory. Espinoza guided War Emblem to Derby glory in 2002.

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Photo: Mark Mahan

California Chrome is the first horse bred in the Golden State in 52 years to win the Kentucky Derby, and just the fourth ever. The last Cal-bred victor in the Derby was Decidedly in 1962.

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Photo: Skip Dickstein

California Chrome with Victor Espinoza aboard wins the 2014 Kentucky Derby.

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Photo: Courtney V. Bearse

The blanket of roses is draped over Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome.

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Photo: Mark Mahan

California Chrome is led to the winner's circle.

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Photo: Dave Harmon

Jockey Victor Espinoza raises his roses in the Churchill Downs winners circle.

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Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

Trainer Art Sherman, left, hugs his son, assistant trainer Alan Sherman, after winning the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby with California Chrome.

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Photo: Skip Dickstein

Owner Steve Coburn kisses his horse, California Chrome.

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Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

Left to Right: Perry Martin, Victor Espinoza, Art Sherman, Steve Coburn, Gov. and First Lady Steve and Jane Beshear.

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Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

Trainer Art Sherman holds up the Kentucky Derby trophy.

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Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

Victor Espinoza, left, stands with trainer Art Sherman as he holds the winner's trophy aloft after winning the 140th running of The Kentucky Derby.

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Photo: Skip Dickstein

Owners Perry Martin and Steve Coburn hold the Kentucky Derby trophy in the winners circle after California Chrome wins the Kentucky Derby.

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Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

The connections of California Chrome pose with their champion in the winners circle, celebrating their Kentucky Derby win.

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Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

California Chrome is led out of the Churchill Downs winners circle.

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Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

The post race press conference was full of smiles for the connections of California Chrome.

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Photo: Dave Harmon

Payouts for the 140th Kentucky Derby.

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Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

The sign of Kentucky Derby 140 winner California Chrome being put up in the Paddock at Churchill Downs.

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Photo: Rick Schmitt

California Chrome's saddle cloth.

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Photo: Dave Harmon

Derby dreams do come true.

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Photo: Skip Dickstein

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