Coalinga's California Chrome Wins 140th Kentucky Derby - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Coalinga's California Chrome Wins 140th Kentucky Derby

Coalinga's California Chrome pulled away down the stretch to become the first California-bred winner in 52 years, at the 140th Kentucky Derby.

Taking charge at the top of the lane, California Chrome and jockey Victor Espinoza made a decisive move and quickly sprinted clear.

It helped Art Sherman became the oldest winning Derby trainer at 77.

California Chrome is based at lesser-known Los Alamitos racetrack in suburban Los Angeles.

It was the early 5-2 favorite in Saturday's 140th Derby with good reason.

He has won four straight races by a combined 24 ¼ lengths under Victor Espinoza, who won the Derby in 2002 with War Emblem.

"He's so light on his feet," Espinoza said. "He just does things so easy and makes my job easy."

California Chrome's owners, Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, are no Kentucky blue bloods. They're a couple of working stiffs who live near Reno, Nevada.

A trainer called them "dumb asses" for getting into the racing game, inspiring the duo to put the letters DAP on their silks, which stands for Dumb Ass Partners.

"We're going to go down in history," Coburn predicted.

California Chrome is the product of an $8,000 mare and a $2,500 stallion at Harris Ranch in Coalinga. He's earned more than $1 million already, making it somewhat easier for Coburn and Martin to turn down a pre-Derby offer of $6 million for a 51 percent stake in the horse.

"We've been blessed with this colt," Coburn said. "The first time we saw him, we knew it was going to be something special."

If their tale seems improbable, well, it's happened before at Churchill Downs.

Mine That Bird, a 50-1 shot owned and trained by two guys from New Mexico mocked as cowboys, pulled off the stunning upset in the 2009 Derby.

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