Are you a California Chrome fan because he's owned locally?

Leading Off: Midtown residents adore chrome horse

Published: Tuesday, May. 20, 2014 - 10:20 pm

This, that and the other thing:

• It’s not exactly California Chrome, the thoroughbred racehorse out of Yuba City that has captured America’s attention by winning the first two legs of the Triple Crown, but it’ll do.

Midtown residents and fans of the racehorse have adorned that magnificent11-foot, 2,500-pound chrome horse perched outside Safeway on S and 19th streets with roses and other flowers after the real deal won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

Next up is the Belmont Stakes on June 7 and California Chrome’s shot at becoming the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 36 years.

Let’s hope the statue – named Spirit and sculptured from chrome bumpers of cars by Sean Guerrero, an artist based in Denver – gets a fresh round of flowers in three weeks.

• Belmont’s 11/2 miles will be the longest distance California Chrome has run, and whether the horse has the legs to win the race won’t be known until he steams down the home stretch with jockey Victor Espinoza trying to get every ounce of effort out of him.

But the odds surely aren’t in California Chrome’s favor – only 11 horses have completed the Triple Crown since the first was won in 1919 by Sir Barton.

• Affirmed was the last Triple Crown winner in 1978, when most current major-league baseball players were not born yet. Who would have thought the Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera would end baseball’s Triple Crown drought (45 years) before another horse would win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes?

– Victor Contreras


What to watch

NBA playoffs, Oklahoma City at San Antonio, 6 p.m., TNT: Can the Thunder make Game 2 at least competitive?

Today’s poll

Are you a California Chrome fan because he’s owned locally?

• Yes

• No

To vote, go to sacbee.com/sports

Tuesday’s results

What would you do if the River Cats become the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate?

• Attend fewer games: 30%

• Attend same amount of games: 16%

• Attend more games: 54%

Total votes: 464

Read more articles by Victor Contreras

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