ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) - California Chrome romped to a 5 Â¼-length victory in the $1 million Santa Anita Derby, stamping him as a strong favorite heading into next month's Kentucky Derby.
Ridden by Victor Espinoza, California Chrome ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.52 at Santa Anita on Saturday. He paid $3.40, $2.40 and $2.10 as the 3-5 favorite in the field of eight colts.
Hoppertunity returned $4 and $2.60, while Candy Boy was another 3 Â½ lengths back in third and paid $2.40.
California Chrome earned 100 points for the win, giving him 150 to move atop the leaderboard in the system used by Churchill Downs to determine the 20-horse field for the May 3 Kentucky Derby.
Hoppertunity, trained by three-time Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert, earned 40 points and now has 95, ensuring him a spot in the Derby starting gate.