FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — Coalinga-bred California Chrome runs for the second jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown Saturday.
Harris Farms CEO John Harris has been beaming with pride since California Chrome’s win at the Kentucky Derby. Chrome is now a 3-5 favorite to win the Preakness Stakes.
California Chrome is a long way from home but his success has put the entire state in the spotlight. He trained at John Harris’ scenic river ranch which runs along the Kings River in Sanger.
Harris Farms has shown the horseracing world the top thoroughbreds don’t have to come from Kentucky or Florida. Harris said, “I think California was kind of thought of as a sidebar place to raise horses. Then a horse like this comes along and we get more attention deservedly. This is a great place to raise a horse – in California. We’ve got great weather, we’ve got good soils.”
John Harris is the man behind Harris Beef, Harris Ranch and Harris Farms. “Well it’s fun to have a lot of balls in the air if you don’t let it stretch you too much and racing is somewhat of an aversion.”
Harris’ Coalinga ranch remains the home for California Chrome’s parents “Love the Chase” and “Lucky Pulpit.” Who knew the cute colt with all that white would seize the moment at the Kentucky Derby? Harris explained, “You feel the horse will do well but when it finally happens it kind of hits you. You just raised a horse that won the derby.”
The derby win affirmed Harris Farms’ program is working. Horse Division manager Dave McGlothlin said, “He’s a product of the Valley, and he’s one of the graduates of our program, and we’re very proud of that.”
On Saturday, Harris Farms employees will gather and hopefully go crazy again as California Chrome roars down the stretch at the Preakness Stakes.
John Harris didn’t make the trip to the Preakness but says he will be there for the Belmont Stakes in three weeks