When a legendary athlete retires fans look back and reflect on championships, courageous performances, and the most shining moments. Memories that burn brightly in the hearts and minds of admirers will never fade, and remain sacred, perfectly preserved and lovingly recorded for ages. Former 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, California Chrome has completed his stellar thoroughbred racing career, and it would be customary to pay homage to his outstanding performances on tracks throughout the world.
California Chrome or “Chrome,” as he is often called, is not just another star to be immortalized for his remarkable accomplishments and his name should never be included in any description containing the words customary, traditional or ordinary. Aside from the first two legs of the Triple Crown Chrome’s illustrious list of titles includes American Horse of the Year in both 2014 and 2016, major victories in the 2014 Santa Anita Derby, both 2016 runnings of the Dubai World Cup and the Pacific Classic. I was blessed to be present in Dubai and witness Mubtaahij, a great horse as he succumbed to the will of Chrome. It was a once in a lifetime moment and will be cherished.
Limitless and Timeless
Chrome will never be limited or measured only by his multiple displays of on-track brilliance captured in two-minute intervals but will be revered as one of the very few who transcends their chosen field of play and leaves their mark upon humanity. The story of Chrome is a timeless recipe that includes all of the finest quality ingredients that define the human spirit. His ability to overcome injuries and compete against giants in the sport such as Beholder, Dortmund, and Arrogate will are breathtaking examples of determination and perseverance. He was the highest earning racehorse in history.
Chrome’s future will be focused on breeding, passing on those distinct characteristics which decide to show up once in every lifetime, reserved for only a selected few of the luckiest generations. His ability to deliver tenacity on the track and his sincerity for everything which he represents serve as an inspiration to millions of worldwide fans. Chrome is a tribute to the opportunity for someone to start small and finish larger than life. He was backed by owners who invested a tiny sum and were literally mocked as “dumb” for getting involved with a horse who’s family name meant very little in a sport dominated by celebrated bloodlines. Chrome is, was and will forever be a blue collar champion and his owners used their silks as a joking reminder of their wisdom.
A Mark of Greatness and Hope for the Future
Occasionally a racehorse impacts the sport enough to add a few new fans to the group of diehard followers. Chrome brought in millions of newcomers to cheer for him during the 2014 Triple Crown bid, championed by his “Chromies” as the people’s horse. He touched the lives of the many who showed up and continued to come back for each and every moment of his career. For those brave enough to hope than an “ordinary” person could stumble onto a remarkable horse and the change the world for the better, Chrome was the stuff that dreams are made of. Art Sherman, Chrome’s trainer freely admits that in his distinguished career he has never had another horse like him. Now millions of racing fans are waiting for Chrome to put his one of a kind endorsement on the sport in his progenies to come.