Game California Chrome takes San Diego H. (G2)
Sunday, July 24, 2016
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California Chrome and Dortmund staged a dramatic duel in Saturday's $200,000 San Diego H. (G2), with the 2014 Horse of the Year prevailing by a half-length in his first start since winning the Dubai World Cup (G1).

“What a terrific comeback race for him. He’s back. He’s such a special horse. This was exciting; an exciting race. He showed everyone today just how special he is,” said winning rider Victor Espinoza afteward.

California Chrome came out of the gate on top, but Dortmund, along the rail, sped to the front and was about two lengths ahead of California Chrome after a quarter-mile in :23.47. Down the backstretch, California Chrome cut into Dortmund's advantage, and the two hit the three-eighths pole on even terms. 

Into the stretch, California Chrome had a slight advantage. Dortmund, to his inside, battled back the rest of the way, but could never get to the front. California Chrome stopped the clock in 1:40.84, less than a second off the track record.

“They both ran terrific,” said California Chrome's trainer Art Sherman. “I tell you, Dortmund made him work for it. It’s going to be an interesting few races coming up. I told Victor the track has been playing to speed all day long and you can’t let a horse like Dortmund get away. So press him as much as you can   He (Dortmund) is a really game horse. I think both horses needed a race and you’ll see two stronger horses coming back in the Pacific Classic. (Chrome) is that kind of horse, he loves to grind it out and he shows a lot of determination. What can I say -- he’s just Chrome, a wonderful horse to be around.”

The win upped California Chrome's all-time money earning total to $12,652,650 and was his eighth graded stakes victory. His next start is expected to be in the $1 million Pacific Classic (G1)  Aug. 20 at Del Mar, where he could face Dortmund and the champion mare Beholder. 
Posted to | California Chrome