Thursday, May 8, 2014

California Chrome, a Cinderfella Horse

He hasn't tapped his true potential. He keeps up a leisurely pace, then jets out, as if the other horses were standing still.
I wrote this after the Kentucky Derby:

He's our bhoy, our "Seabiscuit." California Chrome, a Cinderfella horse, an unlikely star, is pure gold. A horse from nowhere, a horse of humble bloodlines (his sire was a bargain basement stud at Harris Ranch feedlot in Lost Hills), just won the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs.

Chromie, who doesn't like dirt kicked in his face, ran 1 ¼ miles at 2:03.66. Preakness is up next, and Belmont Stakes makes it a Triple Crown. May he run like the wind.

California Chrome, the first California horse to win the Kentucky Derby since 1962, comes from a one-horse stable. Owners Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, bought a has-been mare who had won only one race at Golden Gate Fields, and everyone told them they were crazy.

A groom said "Anyone who buys that horse is a dumb ass." Martin looked at Coburn and asked, "Dumb ass partners?" So they called their stable DAP, which stands for "dumb ass partners" with a donkey on their purple and green racing silks. Crazy dream.

An underdog from California wins the 140th Kentucky Derby. So much for the superiority of Kentucky bred bluebloods. Cowboy hats flew through the air in the grandstand!

"Coming down the stretch I was thinking: 'Keep rollin' big boy. Keep rollin'.' This has to be the sweetest moment of my life. To be my age and have something like this happen, what can you say? For all my friends in California, this is for you. We did it!" said Art Sherman. 77, who is the oldest trainer to win the $2 Million Derby. Not so dumb-ass.

Chrome is the fourth California-born horse to take the Derby, since Decidedly won in 1962 during the Kennedy administration. The three-year-old chestnut colt Chromie is out of Love the Chase and Lucky Pulpit is his sire.

Chromie's moniker (a name drawn from a cowboy hat by a waitress) is a nod to his flashy white markings, often called "chrome" in the horse world. The red colt has four white feet, is traditionally considered to be bad luck in the racing world. His dam cost $8000, his sire's stud fee was $2000 (racing stud fees run in the millions)—his cost was $10,000 and some hay. Cheap for the sport of kings.

Turns out Chromie had some royal ancestors in the family tree: His great-great-great grandsire was Seattle Slew. I saw Seattle Slew run to win on tv when I was young. Another damsire was Northern Dancer who also sired Nijinsky! (His grammaw was an Irish mare Lady Angela.) Who's preaching to the choir now?

Looks like Chrome gets his chrome markings from his sire, Lucky Pulpit
After California Chrome won the 2014 San Felipe Stakes, Lucky Pulpit's stud fee increased from the 2013 fee of $2,500 to $10,000.

 Lucky Pulpit's out of Pulpit, 
out of A.P. Indy, out of Seattle Slew
and add Secretariat & Raise a Native (both sides) to the brew.

Wow. Chrome's mum, Love The Chase's gg-grandsires were Raise A Native and Northern Dancer—whose ggg-grandsire was Man o' War! .... and the Darley Arabian.

One great-great-grandsire was Seattle Slew and the other great-great-grandamsire was Northern Dancer related through Polynesian and Nearctic (and his dam was Lady Angela, an Irish horse).

And his er, cousin, Native Dancer whose dam was Natalma.

Agh. Seattle Slew, the only horse to win the Triple Crown while undefeated was not expected to be a great racehorse, Nasrullah, another Irish horse, Nearco.

Nota bene:I had more photos and links posted that were rendered dead. My posts from 2014 were especially hard hit when Blogger upgraded, as that's when I began to post photos with text. I've been cleaning them up one by one.

California Chrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It was an amalgam of Arabian, Barb, the Akhal-Teke, or Turkoman horse, and native Irish and British horses that give rise to the thoroughbred.

The Godolphin Arabian (b. ca. 1724 Yemen? Morocco? – 1753)
The Darley Arabian (no dates: ca. 1722, was the great-grandsire of Eclipse, whose dam was from the Godolphin line).
The Byerly Turk (ca.1684–1706, captured in Buda, and shipped to Ireland, he may have been an Akhal-Teke, or Turkoman horse, not Arabian; conjecture that the Godolphin was also Akhal-Teke).
These studs were the triumverate foundation sires of all thoroughbred racehorses.

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