On to the Next One
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He's done it again.
California Chrome became just the 13th horse to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown since 1978, hanging on to a hard-fought lead to take the 139th Preakness Stakes victory.
With a prior Kentucky Derby victory and tonight's Preakness win, California Chrome and jockey Victor Espinoza look toward the mile-and-a-half at Belmont, the third and final "jewel" in the Triple Crown, which races on June 7.
"I hope okay," Espinoza said after tonight's race in regard to how he and the horse will handle Belmont. "You know what, we get it done."
Espinoza and California Chrome certainly got it done in Baltimore. Unlike at the Kentucky Derby, the pair pushed ahead of the pack immediately, tucking in with the leaders, only to be contested several times. As they tried to pull away on the final turn, Espinoza pushed his horse forward, too.
"I got more tired mentally than physically riding him," Espinoza said. "I sat back and…it worked out perfect. I thought it was a little too soon (to go), but you know what, I thought I had to go at that point."
This was 77-year-old trainer Art Sherman's first trip to Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. Sherman, along with owner Steve Coburn, are guiding a horse bred for just $10,000 toward a legendary season.
But remember: The best moments generally take place outside of the two minutes the horses race for glory. The Preakness was no different, with Mike Tyson tweeting out this bizarrely mashed-up photograph of him, along with an assortment of other big names in sports (that's Tom Brady to Tyson's left, and Kliff Kingsbury is the one peeking through the back). Oh, Maryland. --Sarah Eberspacher