Ridden by Victor Espinoza, California Chrome ($6.40) closed from fourth in a field of 10 to win by 6 1/4 lengths. Sent off favored, California Chrome ran seven furlongs in 1:22.12.
“Victor said he was just cruising,” winning trainer Art Sherman said. “He said, ‘Please put me on more of those.’ ”
Sherman was impressed with Espinoza’s ride. “He gave this horse a good ride,” Sherman said. “He kept him on the outside all the way.”
Life Is a Joy closed from seventh to finish second, a half-length in front of Pray Hard. Better Bet was fourth, followed by Convoy, Aotearoa, Tizouttasight, Alpine Luck, Ghost of Harrenhal, and Smoove It.
California Chrome won the second stakes of his career in the King Glorious. Owned by breeders Perry Martin and Steve Coburn, California Chrome won the Graduation Stakes for California-breds at Del Mar on July 31. He later was sixth after a troubled trip in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 4 and broke slowly in the Golden State Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.
“He’s growing, and he’s definitely maturing,” Sherman said. “He’s had some rough trips and a few issues in some of his races.”
By Lucky Pulpit, California Chrome has won 3 of 7 starts and earned $214,850. Sherman said California Chrome will be pointed for the $250,000 California Cup Derby over 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-old California-breds at Santa Anita on Jan. 25.