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California Chrome wins Kentucky Derby

California Chrome wins Kentucky Derby

The 140th Kentucky Derby has its champion.

California Chrome, the pre-race favorite, galloped to a decisive victory at Churchill Downs tonight, becoming the first Golden-State-bred horse to win the iconic event since 1962.

Art Sherman, 77, became the oldest trainer to have a horse win the Derby, while owner Steve Coburn proved that his thrifty investment (an $8,000 mare and a $2,500 stallion produced the Derby winner) was a pretty shrewd move. Guided by jockey Victor Espinoza, California Chrome settled into the pack, then surged out to a decisive lead on the straightaway. The win marked the pair's fifth in a row together.

"I never dreamed I would win two Kentucky Derby('s) in my entire career," Espinoza said afterward. "It's just an awesome feeling."

The real winner at Churchill Downs, though, was color commentator Johnny Weir's custom-made hat, named —what else?— Pegasus. --Sarah Eberspacher