California Chrome tops poll heading into Kentucky Derby

The Sports NetworkApril 28, 2014 

New York, NY ( - Santa Anita Derby winner California Chrome continues as the overwhelming choice as leading 3-year-old in the NTRA rankings five days before the running of the 140th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Art Sherman, California Chrome received 35 of 40 first-place votes and 390 points to lead the way in the poll. Owned by Steven Coburn and Perry Martin, the colt is undefeated in three starts this year and will be the favorite for the Run for the Roses.

"Everything looks good right now. It's all worked out nice," Sherman noted Saturday after the 3-year-old worked.

California Chrome will be ridden in the Kentucky Derby by Victor Espinoza who won the race in 2002 aboard War Emblem.

"California Chrome is an amazing horse. He does things so easy," the jockey said.

Wood Memorial winner Wicked Strong is second with four top votes and 307 points. Santa Anita Derby runner-up Hoppertunity is third with 253 points followed by Wood runner-up Samraat (205), Arkansas Derby champ Danza (161), Florida Derby runner-up Wildcat Red (155), Louisiana Derby winner Vicar's in Trouble (153), Louisiana Derby runner-up Intense Holiday (122), Santa Anita Derby third-place horse Candy Boy (1, 96) and the filly Untapable (85).

Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan remains as the leader in the National Poll. The 7-year-old gelding, trained by Charles LoPresti, garnered 25 first- place votes and 355 points to lead the rankings for a second straight week.

"We're real happy with him. I think we're right where we were last year with him," LoPresti said recently.

Oaklawn Handicap winner Will Take Charge is second again with five first-place votes and 322 points. Also keeping their spots from last week are Palace Malice (4, 300), Game On Dude (4, 290), Lea (1, 210), Mucho Macho Man (167) and Beholder (133).

Moving up one rung to eight is the filly Close Hatches (95) followed by California Chrome (1, 86) and Winning Prize (65).

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