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California Chrome: What A Horse!

California Chrome | Benoit photoThe GI Pacific Classic was not supposed to be easy for California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit). The opposition included last year’s winner in the superstar mare Beholder (Henny Hughes) and a serious race horse in Dortmund (Big Brown). In Hoppertunity (Any Given Saturday) and Imperative (Bernardini) there were still two more millionaires in the race. The wise guys were jumping off the Chrome bandwagon, many of them predicting that this would be the occasion where we would get his comeuppance.
 
Instead, we saw what was arguably the best performance ever by a great race horse. Songbird, Beholder, Tepin (Bernstein), Frosted (Tapit), Flintshire (Dansili {GB}), Exaggerator (Curlin), they are all wonderful horses, some of the best we’ve seen in a long time. But none of them belong in the same sentence as California Chrome.
 
Considering all that he had already done in his career, it’s hard to imagine that Chrome could take things to another level. But that’s exactly what he did in the Pacific Classic. Lining up against one of the best fields ever assembled for the $1-million race, he didn’t just win, he embarrassed a couple of fabulous race horses in Beholder and Dortmund.
 

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