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California Chrome decimates opposition in Dubai World Cup  

     A year later, a year better for California Chrome in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).

After coming up second in last year`s edition of the event, a wide trip throughout did not hamper the 2014 Horse of the Year at Meydan in the World`s richest race on Saturday.

Breaking from post 11 in the field of 12 for the 2,000-meter (about 1 1/4 miles) dirt trek, jockey Victor Espinoza hustled the son of Lucky Pulpit out of the gate and into third—four-wide on the first turn and three-wide on the second bend. Mshawish set the pace, with Special Fighter tracking second,

Espinoza`s athleticism was tested as California Chrome`s saddle slipped far back past his barrel, but the jockey maintained his balance, his brilliant chestnut mount unleashed a powerful burst exiting the last turn, and the duo left their rivals in the dust in the world`s richest race.

"I was just trying to keep my balance and not move my body," Espinoza said. "I just kept looking forward and thinking `where`s the wire?` It was not coming fast enough.

"I felt like if I could hit the turn three or four wide I`ll be in good shape. Today it proves how he can run when he`s 100 per cent. In the prep (race), he felt strong. He won easy. I didn`t want to override him because I knew he was going to have a tough race today."

Final time was 2:01.83, a new track record on the dirt course installed for the 2015 meeting at Meydan. Mubtaahij made a rail move to pick up second, but was well behind the winner, who covered the distance in a track-record time of 2:01.83. Hoppertunity finished third. Completing the order of finish were Special Fighter, Frosted, Mshawish, Candy Boy, Keen Ice, Hokko Tarumae, Teletext, Vadamos, and Gun Pit.

"He`s back to his best," jockey Christophe Soumilion said of Mubtaahij, the 2015 UAE Derby (UAE-II) winner. "It was an excellent run. I had a nice position but California Chrome is just a superb horse."

California Chrome will leave Dubai March 31 on a Chicago-bound flight, where he must clear quarantine before continuing on to Taylor Made Farm for some well-deserved R&R. He will spend about 30 days there before returning to Sherman`s barn.


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