By Mint Julep

California Chrome Before and Beyond the Kentucky Derby

2014 kentucky derby winner california chrome

Join us on an exciting journey to uncover the incredible story of California Chrome. From his humble beginnings in Yuba City, California, this beloved horse rose to fame by winning prestigious races like the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Even after retiring from racing, he continued to make a mark through successful stud career, global recognition, and charitable endeavors that have secured his place in history as an iconic figure in the world of horse racing.

Early Years and Ownership Transition

California Chrome was born in February 2011 in Yuba City, California. Perry Martin and Steve Coburn bred him under DAP Racing. This chestnut horse had a promising future right from the start. The creation of DAP Racing was unique – it started as an inside joke but turned into a partnership that captured hearts worldwide.

Changes in ownership are common in horse racing. In 2015, Steve Coburn decided to sell his share of California Chrome to Taylor Made Farm. With new owners coming in and old ones stepping out, California Chrome began a new chapter with fresh leadership.

Switching owners can be like navigating choppy waters – there’s excitement for the future but also nostalgia for the past. As California Chrome LLC took over stewardship duties, people wondered what this change would mean for our beloved four-legged hero. Would he continue to shine or fade away?

From growing up at Yuba City’s pastures to racing across continents, California Chrome showed resilience and spirit that went beyond wins or losses on race days. His legacy transcended trophies; fans watched in amazement as he made his mark on horse racing history one stride at a time.

Training and Racing Successes

California Chrome, under the training of Art Sherman and later Alan Sherman, had a remarkable racing career that included winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 2014. He also triumphed in prestigious races like the Dubai World Cup, Awesome Again Stakes, Pacific Classic, San Diego Handicap, among others.

His journey wasn’t just about finishing races; it was a beautiful display of hard work and skill led by his trainers and jockeys who understood his every move. With each powerful stride on the racetrack, California Chrome captivated audiences around the world with his elegance and strength.

As he raced to one victory after another, California Chrome made history in horse racing as a symbol of determination and excellence. His impact goes beyond trophies; it resonates with fans who witnessed greatness unfold right before their eyes.

The Pros & Cons of Chrome's Racing Reign


  1. A remarkable series of wins like never seen before

  2. An inspiring tale of triumph against the odds

  3. Outstanding skills and lightning-fast speed on display

  4. Formed a close connection with jockey Victor Espinoza

  5. Brought attention to horse racing worldwide


  1. Feeling the pressure to keep up their success

  2. Having to retire from racing early in their career

  3. Dealing with injuries that impact how well they can perform

  4. Facing high expectations from fans and the industry

  5. Handling media attention and public scrutiny

Awards and Accolades

During his time in the spotlight, California Chrome racked up multiple awards and honors. He clinched the Secretariat Vox Populi Award in 2014 and 2016, as well as snagging back-to-back American Horse of the Year titles for those same years. Additionally, he was recognized as the American Champion Older Dirt Male Horse in 2016 and received various state-specific accolades for his contributions to horse racing.

His outstanding performances on the racetrack not only earned him prestigious titles but also won over fans from all around the globe. California Chrome’s magnetic personality paired with his incredible talent cultivated a dedicated following that knew no boundaries or age limits.

California Chrome’s impact went beyond just race day excitement. His legacy sparked a fresh interest among new generations of horse racing enthusiasts, injecting vitality into the sport. The resilience, determination, and grace under pressure that he embodied continue to inspire others within the industry.

As California Chrome gracefully transitioned from champion racer to retired legend, his influence lingered on through every hoofbeat chronicled in history books and every heart touched by his journey. Ultimately, he transcended being merely a racehorse; evolving into an emblem of hope, perseverance,and unwavering spirit—a real-life example demonstrating what can be achieved through passion and dedication.

Notable Performances Post-retirement

California Chrome retired from racing after the Pegasus World Cup in January 2017 and began a new career as a stud. He continued to impact the industry through his offspring, leaving behind a legacy that fans cherished for years to come.

After retiring, California Chrome moved to Taylor Made Farm for breeding duties. His impressive pedigree and successful racing record attracted top-notch mares, making him a sought-after sire. He passed on his exceptional speed and stamina traits to future generations of racehorses.

As one of America’s most beloved horses, California Chrome not only impressed with his racing skills but also won hearts with his gentle nature off the track. Fans eagerly attended events like stallion shows or public appearances to catch a glimpse of this iconic horse, creating memories they would never forget.

California Chrome raised the bar for excellence in Thoroughbred bloodlines as he made an impact in the breeding world. Each new foal sired by him sparked excitement among breeders waiting for them to hit the racetrack.

His enduring legacy is proof that hard work, dedication, and an unbreakable spirit can lead to success. From modest beginnings to international fame and now shaping future champions as a distinguished stallion – California Chrome continues to inspire countless individuals within and beyond horse racing circles with tales of triumph resonating across generations.

Champion Stallion: California Chrome's Impressive Legacy

Attribute Information
Sire Lucky Pulpit
Grandsire Pulpit
Dam Love the Chase
Damsire Not For Love
Sex Stallion
Foaled February 18, 2011 (age 13)
Country United States
Color Chestnut
Breeder Perry Martin and Steve Coburn
Owner Perry Martin and Steve Coburn (2011–2015)
Racing colors Purple, green, donkey on back, green cap (DAP Racing, 2013–2015); Silver/Gray (California Chrome LLC, 2016–2017)
Trainer Art Sherman, Alan Sherman
Record 27:16–4–1
Earnings US$ $14,752,650
Major wins – Triple Crown race wins: Kentucky Derby (2014), Preakness Stakes (2014)
                - Graded stakes wins: Awesome Again Stakes (2016), Pacific Classic (2016), San Diego Handicap (2016), Dubai World Cup (2016), San Pasqual Stakes (2016), Hollywood Derby (2014), Santa Anita Derby (2014), San Felipe Stakes (2014), Graduation Stakes (2013)
                - Stakes wins: Winter Challenge (2016), California Cup Derby (2014), King Glorious Stakes (2013) |

| Awards | – Secretariat Vox Populi Award (2014, 2016), NTRA "Moment of the Year" (2014, 2016), American Horse of the Year (2014, 2016), American Champion Older Dirt Male Horse (2016), American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse (2014), California-bred Horse of the Year (2014, 2016), Champion Three-year-old California-bred male (2014), Champion Cal-bred turf horse (2014), Champion California-bred Older Male (2015) |
| Honors | – National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (2023), California Chrome Stakes, California State Assembly concurrent resolution 161, "California Chrome Day", October 11, 2014, Fresno, California |

Induction Into Hall of Fame

California Chrome entered the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2023, a significant milestone in his impressive career. This recognition placed him among the elite group of top-notch racehorses, highlighting his impact on Thoroughbred horse racing.

His journey from modest beginnings to widespread fame captured the hearts of fans worldwide. California Chrome’s captivating presence both on and off the racetrack won over numerous admirers who were amazed by his skill and impressed by his determination.

More than just a series of wins, his legacy embodies perseverance, resilience, and an unwavering love for the sport. California Chrome’s influence extends through time, motivating future champions while securing his place firmly in horse racing history books.

Legacy and Fanbase

Known affectionately as “the horse of the people,” California Chrome had a magnetic charm that went beyond just the racetrack, captivating fans worldwide with his exceptional skills and lovable personality. His striking white markings, which earned him the nickname “Chrome,” made him easily recognizable among supporters and added to his unique appeal. From starting out in humble circumstances to achieving remarkable victories, California Chrome’s journey wasn’t just about winning races; it was about forming a connection with those who cheered for him every step of the way.

California Chrome’s influence extended far outside of racing circles, leaving a lasting impression on the horse racing world and inspiring a devoted following known as “Chromies.” These enthusiastic fans followed his every race closely and celebrated each triumph as if it were their own. Through ups and downs, injuries and comebacks, California Chrome remained a symbol of hope and resilience for all who believed in his greatness.

As he made the transition from racing star to retired legend, California Chrome continued to captivate audiences with his elegance and charisma. His legacy lives on not only through his impressive accomplishments but also through the enduring spirit he instilled in everyone who witnessed his journey. The bond between California Chrome and his fans remains unbreakable—a testament to the power of love and admiration shared between an extraordinary athlete and those who adored him.

With each stride towards victory, California Chrome proved himself more than just a racehorse; he became a symbol of determination, passion,  and unwavering commitment. As Chromies around the globe continue to celebrate both his successes on track and off track experiences,

they honor not solely

an incredible athlete but additionally

an icon whose presence enriched their lives profoundly.

Looking back now we see how one horse managed effortlessly galloped into our hearts—his story intertwining seamlessly with ours evoking nostalgia for moments experienced vicariously together during thrilling races or heartwarming post-race celebrations.


California Chrome may have retired from competitive races


he left behind hoofprints etched deeply within

the history books

of horseracing—a legendary figure cherished by many today

and fondly remembered tomorrow

for years yet unseen.

Golden tales of California Chrome's Derby journey

  1. ### Exciting tales of California Chrome's Derby adventure

  2. **Family History:** California Chrome comes from a long line of champions starting with Pulpit, a famous stallion who was the son of A.P. Indy, an iconic racehorse inducted into the Hall of Fame.

  3. **Against All Odds:** Raised by novices in horse racing, California Chrome defied expectations and rose to stardom, creating an inspiring story for fans everywhere.

  4. **Good Luck Charm:** With his chestnut coat and striking white blaze on his face, many believed that this unique feature brought him luck on the racetrack.

  5. **Triple Crown Pursuit:** In 2014, California Chrome won over hearts globally by clinching victories at both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, coming tantalizingly close to achieving the prestigious Triple Crown title.

  6. **Post-Racing Achievements**: Following retirement from racing duties, California Chrome found success as a stud horse, fathering multiple winners in significant races and leaving a lasting impact on the sport of horse racing worldwide.

International Recognition

California Chrome gained worldwide fame by winning important races like the Dubai World Cup in 2016. This victory showed how talented and adaptable he was on a global level, making him one of the top racehorses around the world. By competing against strong opponents from different places, California Chrome proved himself as a versatile athlete who could perform well outside his home country.

In addition to his racing skills, California Chrome’s adventures in international competitions also helped him build a huge fan base all over the world. People everywhere loved his charming personality and determined attitude, which made them root for him no matter where they were from. By showcasing his talents on various tracks across the globe, California Chrome not only won races but also captured hearts and earned respect from those who admired great horse athletes.

As one of the most famous figures in recent horse racing history, California Chrome had a big impact on both local and international levels. His legacy goes beyond just winning races; it tells a story of hard work, perseverance, and love for competition that continues to inspire young racers and fans today. By finding success globally while staying humble and graceful throughout his career, California Chrome secured himself a lasting place among equestrian legends.

Contributions Beyond Racing

California Chrome didn’t just win races. He also made a difference off the track. He helped support organizations that care for horses and took part in events to raise money for retired racehorses. By doing this, he showed his love for animals and his commitment to giving back to the industry that made him famous.

In addition, California Chrome got involved in programs where fans could meet him in person, creating a stronger connection between himself and his supporters. He became a representative of the sport, capturing hearts around the world with his impressive presence both during races and outside them. These interactions went beyond simple admiration; they created a sense of belonging among fans who found comfort in seeing such an iconic figure exhibit grace and humility despite all the attention.

His influence continues to inspire many people within and outside horse racing circles, serving as a symbol of hope that hard work, determination, and unwavering dedication can make dreams come true. California Chrome’s lasting impact reminds us that greatness isn’t just about winning trophies or titles but about leaving behind a meaningful legacy—a legacy that will be remembered by future generations.

Endorsements and Partnerships

California Chrome went from being a famous racehorse to becoming an icon after retiring, thanks to smart partnerships and endorsements that showcased his lasting popularity. His collaboration with Taylor Made Farm not only gave him a great retirement spot but also led to exciting projects highlighting his impact on the horse racing world. Through these connections, California Chrome kept fans around the globe interested while cementing his status as one of the sport’s most beloved figures.

Teaming up with different brands and groups didn’t just boost his post-racing career; it showed how much people admired him both in and outside the horse community. From starring in ads to attending top events, California Chrome stayed relevant worldwide, touching hearts everywhere he went. These endorsements weren’t just about celebrating past wins but also hinted at a bright future inspiring new generations of horse lovers.

As California Chrome entered this new phase filled with partnerships and collaborations, he continued inspiring longtime fans and newcomers alike. The legacy created through these deals wasn’t just marketing – it was proof of his incredible talent, strength, and determination from starting out small to reaching international fame. In all his pursuits after leaving competitive races behind, California Chrome still managed to capture the attention of admirers globally by making history within the equine world.

Lasting Influence on Horse Racing History

Considered one of the top American-bred Thoroughbreds in recent years, California Chrome made a lasting impact on horse racing with record-breaking earnings totaling $14,752,650 and multiple championship titles. Even after retiring from competitive racing, his influence remains strong. His impressive performances on the track captured audiences worldwide and solidified his status as a true legend in the sport. Winning prestigious races like the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes further cements California Chrome’s legacy, inspiring both longtime fans and newcomers to horse racing.

California Chrome’s journey from humble beginnings to global fame showcases determination and talent within the world of horse racing. Raised at Harris Farms in California, he defied expectations by rising to stardom under owners Perry Martin and Steve Coburn’s guidance. The partnership between these dedicated individuals demonstrated teamwork at its best – driving California Chrome towards unparalleled success while highlighting collaboration within an otherwise individualistic sport.

In addition to his remarkable achievements on racetracks worldwide, California Chrome’s retirement marked a new beginning filled with promise for future generations of racehorses. As he transitioned into stud duties at Taylor Made Farm in Kentucky, his presence continued to resonate throughout the industry – serving as a beacon of hope for aspiring champions yet to make their mark on center stage. Ultimately, California Chrome’s enduring impact goes beyond mere statistics; it embodies a spirit that ignites dreams and sparks passion in every heart touched by the allure of horse racing.


1. How did California Chrome rise to fame in the world of horse racing?

California Chrome became a racing sensation after he won both the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Fans were drawn to his exceptional skills and inspiring journey from underdog to champion.

2. What were some of California Chrome's most notable racing triumphs during his career?

In 2014, California Chrome made a name for himself by winning both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. Then in 2016, he sealed his legacy with a victory at the Dubai World Cup.

3. How has California Chrome's legacy continued to impact the horse racing industry post-retirement?

Even after retiring, California Chrome still inspires and uplifts the horse racing world with his incredible talent, unwavering connection to fans worldwide, and enduring spirit. His legacy lives on strong!

4. What are some of the key milestones in California Chrome's journey from racing royalty to an enduring legacy?

California Chrome went from being a top racehorse to leaving a lasting impact on the horse racing world. He achieved big wins in races like the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, made his mark internationally by winning the Dubai World Cup, and continued to support equine therapy and adoption programs even after retiring.

5. How has California Chrome captured the hearts of fans worldwide beyond his on-track performances?

Fans from all over the world have fallen in love with California Chrome because of his charm, determination, and humble start. He has become a true inspiration in the horse racing community, going beyond just winning races to represent hope for many.

6. What are some of the post-retirement endeavors that California Chrome has been involved in since leaving the racetrack?

After California Chrome stopped racing, he started a successful career as a stud at Taylor Made Farm in Kentucky. He fathered promising offspring and kept fans interested with his lasting impact.