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California Chrome in Triple Crown hunt

California Chrome (picture) drew away from the field in the stretch and easily won the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes on Saturday to remain in the hunt for the elusive Triple Crown. The Kentucky Derby champion, ridden by Victor Espinoza, settled in nicely in third place before making its move on the far turn and grabbing the lead at the top of the stretch. California Chrome, winner of six straight races, held a three-length lead in mid-stretch and cruised to the wire ahead of hard-charging Ride On Curlin. California Chrome won $900,000 for Saturday’s triumph to push its career earnings to nearly $3.5 million. If California Chrome can win the Belmont Stakes on June 7 in New York, it will become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.

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