We’ve seen his jockey and trainer all over the news talking about the Triple Crown and the Belmont Stakes…but we’ve heard nothing from the horse…UNTIL NOW! How is he feeling going into the big event? How is his energy level? The Racing Dudes bring you another exclusive as we caught up with California Chrome Tuesday evening and got his thoughts on the biggest day of his life. Enjoy!
Racing Dudes: One race away from racing immortality. When you were a little foal on the farm in California was this the stuff you could only dream about?
California Chrome: The Kentucky Derby never entered my mind. I’m a Cal bred…you dream about winning races like the California Cup Derby. I didn’t even know that Kentucky was a state until I won the San Felipe and people starting talking to me about it. I had heard of Kentucky Fried Chicken, but that’s about as far as it went. When you are born and raised in California you don’t care about much that is happening outside of your state. I can remember stepping off the plane in Kentucky and it was raining. I thought to myself “what a miserable place.” However, my thoughts changed quickly. The fans in Kentucky are great and they love horse racing.
Dudes: When did you know you were a special horse?
Chrome: After the Santa Anita Derby. People started hyping me after the San Felipe, but honestly I had beaten Cal Breds that were better than that field. I think my mom could have beaten Midnight Hawk! However, the Santa Anita Derby was different. Hoppertunity is a nice horse and I took care of him easily…I do look forward to meeting him somewhere down the road though. So after that race I knew I could compete with anyone.
Dudes: Speaking of your mom, do you get upset when you see all the articles written about her not being very good?
Chrome: (Laughter) No not at all! She’s terribly slow and she’ll tell you that. She could not believe when those two dumb-asses bred her!! My owners are lucky guys. I was bred to be a slow sprinter. Now I’m one race away from the Triple Crown!
Dudes: You have two full sisters that those “dumb-asses” also bred. How are they coming along?
Chrome: They are typical girls. Right now we can’t get them to do anything…they think they know everything already. The plan is for me to win the Triple Crown, and then go back to the farm and try to teach them a few things while I take a short break. I’m not looking forward to it.
Dudes: If your sister makes the Kentucky Oaks next year will you be going to support her?
Chrome: There is no way in hell she will make the Oaks! Are you kidding me? But yes, I will be supportive in anything she does. Whether it’s the Oaks or a Cal Bred maiden claimer I’ll be cheering her on.
Dudes: You recently expressed your love for the crab cakes in Maryland. Have you tried anything good yet in New York?
Chrome: In Maryland there wasn’t much trouble for me to get into so they let me stroll the streets and try new things. Here it’s been different. This is New York City, too many places for me to get in trouble so they’ve kept a close eye on me and kept me confined at Belmont. I did call in a New York style pizza the other day and it was delicious! You should have seen the delivery guys face when he saw me. It was kind of sad though because I figured the NYRA would pay Andy Serling enough to where he wouldn’t have to have a second job. I must say Andy was very timely in delivering the pizza and I tipped him well.
Dudes: So you’ve been at Belmont the whole time? We heard rumors that you were in Las Vegas last weekend? At least according to the Sports Pickle…
Chrome: Well I really shouldn’t comment on this…but yes I did get away last weekend. I just got sick of all the stalkers watching me take a bath. Would you like people watching you take a bath everyday? It’s really quite disturbing! Anyway, yes I called up Johnny Football and he booked us a couple of tickets and we went out there. He was a great host, but as usual the little bastard sprayed champagne all over everyone and got us kicked out of a few clubs. I kept telling him to just be chill and nobody wanted champagne sprayed all over them…wouldn’t listen. All in all it was a great time though!
Dudes: What did you think of the opossum that was out on the track with you when you first got here?
Chrome: I’m telling you that was the meanest damned cat I have ever been around!! I get along pretty well with most cats, but I went over to that thing and it was hissing and clawing at me! I guess even the cats up here in New York are angry all the time.
Dudes: Out of all your challengers on Saturday, who do you fear the most?
Chrome: I don’t fear anyone! I have respect for all my competition, but I know if I run my race I will win. They are all nice horses. Ride On Curlin is getting better. Wicked Strong and Tonalist are on their home track. Others look like the distance might suit them. It’s not like it’s going to be easy, but I do know that if I run my race I will win.
Dudes: Everyone wants to know, how is your energy level?
Chrome: Couldn’t be better. Art has prepared me unbelievably for this day. Victor has been really smart with the rides he’s given me. Basically now it’s as simple as getting one more clean trip and beating them all to the wire one last time.
Dudes: Will you be watching any of the under card races? If so who are some of your picks?
Chrome: Yes absolutely! Beholder in the Ogden Phipps really has me excited! Can’t wait to watch her dominate in front of what will definitely be an East Coast biased crowd. I bet we get a half way decent price on her because of that. The Met Mile is going to be a classic race as well. Goldencents is our California hope in that one, but I’m not quite as confident in him. I’ve made friends with Palace Malice since coming here and believe he has a big shot. But is the distance a little short for him?
Dudes: Last question…You are rounding the corner on the final turn at Belmont with the lead. What will be going through your mind?
Chrome: RUN LIKE HELL!! (Laughter) Seriously though, I’m going to lay it all on the line at that point. I want to do this for all of my great fans and my great connections. I’m a very lucky horse regardless of the outcome, but I’d sure like to make everyone happy on Saturday.