California Chrome bests Beholder at Del Mar
California Chrome left his opponents in the dust in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar. Billed as a “Battle of the Sexes”, the Saturday race featured three-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder defending her 2015 Pacific Classic title against Chrome and other stallions.
The Dubai champ left the gate at top speed and gained an early lead over his competition. With Beholder constantly keeping up but never overcoming, Chrome ultimately won by five-lengths. Beholder won a comfortable second place, with Dortmund rounding out the top three.
Chrome hit fractions of :23.20, :47.29, and 1:11.22 through six furlongs, hitting the mile in 1:35.69. The fan favorite hit the wire in 2:00.13.
Despite Chrome’s crushing victory, this was never a clear win for him. He started on the rail, which the famously temperamental stallion is known for detesting. Even Beholder jockey Gary Stevens said Chrome was in trouble.
“I got a big smile on my face,” Stevens told TVG’s Brittney Eurton a few days before the race. “Dortmund right to my outside, California Chrome in the one-hole; it makes my job pretty simple.
But ultimately, Chrome was victorious at Del Mar’s biggest race of the year.
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