Did this impact California Chrome’s Belmont?

California Chrome injury
California Chrome may have hit is right front heel with a hind hoof when coming out of the starting gate. Looks painful!

It appears that California Chrome may have injured himself leaving the starting gate at the Belmont yesterday. The horse was bleeding from his right front heel and trainer, Art Sherman, thinks he caught it with a hind leg coming out of the gate. Jockey Victor Espinoza tweeted this photo of the injury last night.

My horse, Freedom, had a heel injury last year. I can confirm how very painful it is. Luckily, it’s nothing serious and he should be fine in short order.

Did it cost him the race? It’s hard to tell. Unfortunately, for a horse to win the Triple Crown everything needs to go right for them in each of the three big races.

Another photo shows Matterhorn possibly catching California Chrome as the two horses exit the starting gate.

Matterhorn Belmont
This photos seems to show Matterhorn catching California Chrome on his right front as they exit the starting gate.


8 thoughts on “Did this impact California Chrome’s Belmont?

  1. Someone at work came up to me today to talk about California Chrome. (She knows I’m a little obsessed). A guy from her church trains at Santa Anita and she was chatting with his wife. Apparently the son of the trainer researches bloodlines and he told his mom (who was the one my coworker was conversing with) that after looking at bloodlines he didn’t think CC could go the longer distance-due to his breeding. He called it. I thought that was interesting. Of course, my romantic self believes he would have won were it not for the injury. 🙁 That’s my 2 cents.

    1. I would like to think that he would have won without the injury, but it’s a long race and he’s never shown his ability over the distance. He looked pretty tired to me — like he never was able to find that final gear.

    2. he absolutely could have gone the distance of the Belmont. did you see the injury? My uncle owned several race horses with “The Duke”( john wayne). I had a bold ruler/ raise a native mare, who was bred to the hilt, yet was never a good runner. While bloodlines play some part, training and MANY other factors play as big or bigger parts. Like their LOVE of running and their will to win which Chrome had in spades. He LOVED his job. Secretariat didnt producer any big winners yet was the BESt horse to this day.

  2. I noticed Matterhorn’s jockey looking down at California Chrome’s feet. Why would he do this at the very beginning of the race (or anytime, for that matter). Did someone pay him a lot of money to have his horse get his foot tangled with California Chrome’s? I’d say he really earned his dirty money with this one. Something here is just not right. Normally, you come out of the gate and go like a bat out of heck to win the race, but if you’re getting paid big bucks to keep the favorite horse from winning, why would he care.

    1. Personally, I’m surprised we don’t see more interference at the starting gate. Those horses are separated by mere inches! The pandemonium of starting a field full of three year olds with all of the adrenalin involved would — IMHO — make sabotage very unlikely. It must be close to impossible to direct a racehorse in those initial seconds. I think it was damned bad luck, but nothing more nefarious. In fact, I would think the jockeys would do almost anything to prevent a potential collision given that they might get trampled in the aftermath.

Leave a Reply