It’s on to the world’s richest race for California Chrome.
The 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner appears to be back in top form with an easy two-length victory in a $150,000 race in Dubai, a second consecutive win for the popular horse on the comeback trail.
“It was easy,” jockey Victor Espinoza said after the race of about 1 1/4 miles at Meydan Racecourse. “It’s a short period of time from now until the next race. I didn’t want to empty the tank today.”
That next race would be the $10-million Dubai World Cup on March 26.
California Chrome raced third early in the eight-horse field, behind Success Story and Hunting Ground. Around the far turn, Chrome kicked into gear, took the lead on the outside and cruised to the finish ahead of runner-up Storm Belt.
“He came out of the gate like a rocket,” Espinoza said. “He went nice and comfortable today. I felt like I got a good position in the first turn, and from there on he was pretty much all by himself.”