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California Chrome an Inexpensive Horse That Wins the Derby

Jamie Squire, Getty Images

California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby and the first leg of the Triple Crown, not bad for a horse that only cost $8,000. Most horses that run in these types of races cost millions but ‘Chrome’ is described as a working man’s horse.

Owner Steve Coburn, an Army vet and now a business man isn’t rich like most race horse owners, in fact, he didn’t know how to read a race form until he was in his 40’s. He bought a race horse as a business venture to try and save on the amount of taxes the government was taking from him.

The horse he bought for $8,000 was ‘Love the Chase’ but that horse proved to be a looser so Coburn spent and extra $2,000 and had her bred with a stallion named ‘Lucky Pulpit’.  The resulting foul was California Chrome which is now worth at least six million dollars.

The name of Coburn’s and partners, Denise and Perry Martin, race company is DAP which stands for ‘Dumb Ass Partners’ because someone in the barn told them they had to be dumb asses if they got into the race game with this horse.

California Chromes jockey, Victor Espinoza, had big DAP logo on his shirt for the race. This is the first time since 1962 when Decidedly won the Kentucky Derby that a California bred horse won.

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