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BALTIMORE (AP) — It gets even harder from here on out for California Chrome.
He won easily in his home state of California, he dazzled in the Kentucky Derby and he dug deep to win the Preakness on Saturday.
Now comes the toughest test of all, the Belmont Stakes in three weeks.
The chestnut colt with four white feet will attempt to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont, something that hasn't been done since Affirmed in 1978. Since then, 12 horses have won the first two legs and failed to complete the sweep in the 1 ½-mile Belmont; the last was I'll Have Another, who was scratched on the eve of the Belmont two years ago.
"You have to have a very good horse to win these three races," said Art Sherman, the winning 77-year-old trainer. "I'm hoping I've got one right now."
Maybe the horse with the modest pedigree and average Joe owners is the one.
California Chrome defeated Ride On Curlin by 1 ½ lengths in the Preakness, covering 1 3/16 miles in 1:54.84 on a sunny and cool day at Pimlico.
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