California Chrome sets the stage perfectly for the Preakness

The Baltimore Sun

There was only one big winner at the Kentucky Derby, but the outcome of the race — which included California Chrome and top contenders Danza and Wicked Strong among the top-four finishers — looks like a big win for Baltimore.

If all three horses come out of the Derby healthy and all of their owners decide to run them in the Preakness, it will set up a terrific three-horse showdown at Old Hilltop, where the field will not be so crowded and the outcome will determine whether we could see the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed, in 1978.

The way Chrome ran away from the field Saturday certainly makes that a very real possibillity, but Wicked Strong ran very well despite having drawn the far outside gate, and Danza certainly proved he was for real with his third-place finish.

Of course, most Preakness fans will be rooting for Chrome because of its Triple Crown potential and because it is just Baltimore's kind of horse. The owners bought its mother for $8,000 and paid only a $2,000 stud fee to produce a Derby winner.

It's a blue-collar horse for a blue-collar town, and its owners already have confirmed that California Chrome will be arriving here soon.

Can't wait.

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