The 2014 Kentucky Derby favorite, California Chrome, did nothing short than amaze horse racing fans with his untouchable victory at Churchill Downs! He had always been a contender at the top of the watch list due to his size, pedigree and training, but it wasn’t until the Road to the Derby Championship Series was coming to an end that horse racing experts committed to saying Chrome has all the elements that could make him a Triple Crown Champion.
His time? 2:02.66, putting him three seconds behind the famous Secretariat, who holds the fastest Derby time ever.
What was it like watching the 140th Kentucky Derby LIVE at Churchill Downs? And what lies ahead for Kentucky Derby Champion, California Chrome? Take a look:
140th Kentucky Derby: The Race
At 6:24 p.m. ET, over 164,906 people crowded the Grandstand, Clubhouse and lawn to watch the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby, making this the second-largest attendance in Derby history! The weather was on fans’ side with sunny skies and a temperature reaching 75 degrees, making it a great day for horses racing with 13 races on the schedule.
The day passed quickly with each race building more anticipation to the one that mattered the most – the first leg of the Triple Crown – the 2014 Kentucky Derby.
And then it was time. The trumpets sounded and the crowds erupted sending shivers down your spine. The music began and “My Old Kentucky Home” began playing over the speakers throughout Churchill. The crowds sang with arms wrapped around each other and drinks swaying in the air, and a wave of emotion passed over the stands.
As the music ended, the field of 19 Kentucky Derby contenders (Hoppertunity was an early scratch) entered the track and the fans went wild! They warmed-up along the back stretch as they made their way to the starting gate. One by one the gates slammed behind the horses as they were loaded. As the last gate closed, silence filled Churchill Downs and fans held their breath.
And they're off!
The horses broke from the starting gate and fought for the inside rail. Chitu and Uncle Sigh broke early fighting for the lead and the remaining jockeys seemed to bide their time. California Chrome followed in third and with the urge from his jockey, Victor Espinoza, pulled away from the pack.
Leading by five lengths, Chrome pulled ahead of the pack, but Commanding Curve was not down for the count. Commanding Curve came to close and moved his way through the pack and encroached on Chrome’s solidified lead.
However, California Chrome was able to hold his lead and raced to victory across the finish line, followed by Commanding Curve and Danza. This victory makes Chrome the first California bred horse to win the roses since Decidedly in 1962, and it makes Art Sherman, trainer, the oldest trainer to win a Kentucky Derby since 1989. This was Espinoza’s second Derby victory.
A full 2 ¾ lengths behind the leaders, Wicked Strong, 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 then crossed the finish line.
Many horse racing experts and fans alike hold faith that California Chrome could be the next magic horse – the one that could bring home the crown. With the Preakness Stakes on the horizon, Chrome has plenty of conditioning and training ahead of him these next few weeks.
Only time will tell if 2014 will grant us a new Triple Crown Champion!
YOU can be at the 2015 Kentucky Derby!
With Derby Experiences Official Ticket Packages direct from Churchill Downs, you can experience the Kentucky Derby in the most unique way possible! With seats in prime locations throughout the Grandstand and Clubhouse, exclusive access to hospitality areas with complimentary food buffets and open bars, and meet and greets with celebrities, you’ll have an experience to remember.
Get more information on how you can attend the 2015 Kentucky Derby LIVE at Churchill Downs today. Call 1-888-384-7088 to speak to a representative or visit our website for more information. It’s time to start your Derby experience – let us help you get there!