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Will California Chrome Come To Saratoga?

Patrick Smith, Getty Images

For most, the three races of the Triple Crown represent the entirety of the horse racing season.

For those in this area, though, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont are just preludes to those 40 days of racing off the Northway’s exit 14 – a first look at the marquee horses who will be running in Saratoga’s biggest races.

The majority of those looks, this year, of course, have been pointed in California Chrome’s direction – the colt who won both the Derby and Preakness in impressive fashion and who enters the Belmont with a chance to win racing’s first Triple Crown since 1978.

So will the winner of 6-straight come to Saratoga?  Well, I don’t know.  No one does.

Where California Chrome races depends entirely on the colt’s owners – the spectacularly named “Dumbass Partners.”  As of yet, the pair has not tipped their hand regarding the horse’s future, so we can only speculate as to whether we’ll see him this summer at the spa.

What we do know, though, is that shortly after the Belmont, the folks at Dumbass will have an important decision to make that may decide Chrome’s fate.

Two years ago, I’ll Have Another won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, but was scratched due to injury the day before the Belmont.  He never raced again.  Not because of the injury, but because the owners of the promising 3-year-old were offered $10 million by a syndicate who planned to breed the colt to as many fillies as possible.

Similar offers will almost certainly be made for California Chrome’s breeding rights – likely with an even higher dollar amount should he win the Belmont.  If the owners choose to sell, he’d only see Saratoga as a visitor, if even that.

If they don’t take the money, though, if they continue to race him, – risking loss or injury that may lower or entirely erase his breeding value – we may well see the Derby and Preakness winner at the “graveyard of favorites.”

Likely as the favorite in the mid-summer version of the race he won the first Saturday in May. Saratoga’s premier race, The Travers.

It seems logical to take the money, but with a name like Dumbass Partners – and having already rebuffed a seven-figure offer for California Chrome – who knows?

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