California Chrome Gets The Best Of Game Dortmund In San Diego 'Cap

Toting the high weight of 126 pounds, and though he was conceding five pounds to his major rival Dortmund, California Chrome crossed the wire the half-length victor of Saturday evening's Grade 2 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar. The two horses turned for home together and battled for the length of the stretch, but it was the California Chrome, LLC-owned chestnut that came out on top, covering 1 1/16 miles over the fast main track in 1:40.84 under Victor Espinoza.

“It was a great race to watch,” said an ecstatic Art Sherman, the 5-year-old son of Lucky Pulpit's trainer. “He's the real McCoy, Dortmund, but my horse was just Chrome.”

Dortmund broke a bit slowly under Gary Stevens, allowing the very quick-breaking California Chrome and Espinoza to dictate the race scenario. Moving forwardly toward the first turn, California Chrome forced Stevens and Dortmund to expend more energy than they would have liked to accelerate and take the lead before the turn. Dortmund was successful in that effort, and took up a relatively easy lead, though California Chrome was never more than 1 1/4 lengths behind with clear sailing along the outside. Crittenden folded in behind those two, with the talented Win the Space tracking the pace from fourth.