2014 Kentucky Derby Hopeful: California Chrome
For the first time, my Derby Hopefuls will be reaching the pages of Horse Racing Nation rather than the original Past the Grandstand. Derby Hopefuls feature the horses I view as the best contenders leading up to the Kentucky Derby. Each horse spotlighted in a Derby Hopeful will join the 2014 PTG Derby Hopeful roster, found on the right side of this blog (the original Past the Grandstand). Horses will be listed in an order that corresponds to how highly I think of them, with the horse I think most highly of ranking at the top. A horse featured in a Derby Hopeful may be taken off the roster if its performances after its article are published are not up to par or if that horse is taken off the Triple Crown trail, though those articles will remain on my blog.
"Just a few days out from Christmas, citizens across the nation prepared for the holiday, reuniting with family, watching classic holiday movies, embellishing homes with festive decorations, wrapping gifts, and preparing traditional meals. The air was full of joy and anticipation; after all, it was “the most wonderful time of the year.” But on the evening of December 22, 2014, racing fans felt anything but joy.
It was the final day of racing at Hollywood Park, a track that had housed the names of an abundance of great Thoroughbreds, including Affirmed, Citation, Seabiscuit, and Zenyatta. Despite the seventy-five years of fine racing that had taken place at Hollywood Park, the doors would forever close to the Inglewood, California track. Hundreds of stakes races had been held at the track in its rich history, including the inaugural Breeders’ Cup World Championships and seventy-four editions of the Hollywood Gold Cup, but at 5:39 PM on December 22, California Chrome – a stunning chestnut colt conditioned by veteran trainer Art Sherman – galloped to an impressive victory in the final stakes race ever held at Hollywood, the King Glorious Stakes. Now, a month out from the Kentucky Derby, the colt that captured Hollywood’s final stakes race looks to conquer America’s greatest stakes race. . ."
Click here to read the rest of my newest Horse Racing Nation article.