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California Chrome wins Kentucky Derby with ease (Video)

California Chrome won the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby with ease after breaking away from the field on the final stretch at Churchill Downs Saturday.

California Chrome was the favorite in the field at 2:1 odds before the race began. The horse ran a similar race to the Santa Anita Derby where he won by several lengths after breaking away on the final stretch.

California Chrome’s unofficial time was 2:03:66 for the horse and jockey Victor Espinoza. 164,906 people attended the race, which was the second-largest crowd ever.

California Chrome

California Chrome became the first California-bred horse to win the Derby since 1962.

Tony Danza going to Kentucky Derby to root on horse ‘Danza’

Tony DanzaActor Tony Danza will be at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday to cheer on the horse named after him.

One of the favorites to win the race is a 3-year-old colt named “Danza.” Danza was sired by Street Boss, so the owners wanted a name that would follow a similar theme. They tried the name “Who’s the Boss?” but that, as well as the name of Danza’s character in the ’80s show, Tony Micelli, were rejected. They eventually settled on Danza.

“Everybody loves Tony Danza. He’s an icon in American culture,” the horse’s owner, Aron Wellman, told ABC. “It’s been a lot of fun and thankfully the horse has been a very good horse and has done the name proud.”

Tony found out about the horse named after him after the colt won the Arkansas Derby in April. He got in touch with the horse’s owners and decided to head out to Louisville for the race:

Oxbow wins Preakness Stakes (Video)

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Oxbow won the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes, quickly ending Orb’s chances at winning the Triple Crown.

Oxbow just dominated the entire race and was a wire-to-wire winner. NBC said on its telecast that Oxbow was the first wire-to-wire winner at the race since Aloma’s Ruler in 1982.

Itsmyluckyday finished second after a 15th-place finish at the Kentucky Derby. Mylute, which was 5:1 entering the race, finished third. Kentucky Derby winner Orb finished fourth.

Oxbow’s unofficial time was 1:57:54. The horse’s victory gave trainer D. Wayne Lukas his sixth Preakness victory. Jockey Gary Stevens won the Preakness for the third time.

“I was running when I hit the lane. I thought that they would come and challenge him,” Stevens said in his post-race interview. “I didn’t expect to go to the lead. This horse was so right today he pulled me to the lead. He was happy, his ears were up telling me he was content. He exploded coming off the turn. Staggered home a little bit the last sixteenth, but we had enough of a lead. It reminded me a lot of Winning Colors in the ’88 Derby.”

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Orb wins Kentucky Derby (Video)

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Orb won the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby Saturday, coming from behind to dust the field on the final stretch.

Orb entered the Run for the Roses as the 5:1 favorite after winning four races in a row. But Orb’s likelihood to win the race appeared to be shaky entering the final turn.

After the 3/4 mile mark, NBC noted that there was “nothing yet from Orb, he’s still about 15th.”

Orb closed hard and managed to win the race by a length.

The image below shows Orb’s lead and how far behind the rest of the pack was from the five horses in front:

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Cloned horses will now be allowed to participate in the Olympics

Keep a close eye on the horses you see competing in the equestrian events at the Olympics this summer. You just may see them again at the Summer Olympics in about eight or 12 years. Well, not the exact same horses, but a 98% nearly perfect copy of them. According to ABC News, the group that governs international equestrian events has officially lifted its ban on cloned horses in international competitions. Instead of trying to pair two horses with great bloodlines together to create the next champion, breeders can now simply clone the current winners.

Little is known about the exact science that goes into cloning horses, except for the fact that the end result will be horses that are almost identical to the horse whose genes they were created from — with “almost” being the key word.

“We now know that the clone is only a 98 percent copy of the original,” Fédération Equestre Internationale veterinary director Graeme Cooke explained. “Therefore, we came to the conclusion that there were so many variables there were no unfair advantages that were contrary to the spirit of sport.”

Cooke said that the abilities of the horse will also be affected by training methods, the skill of the rider, the horse’s relationship with the rider and the environment the horse is raised in. For that reason, he says, it has been determined that allowing cloned horses to participate in events would not be unfair.

Current horses that are clones are still too young to compete, and most have not yet been weaned from their mothers. Horses must be 9 years old to qualify for Olympic competition, so it will be a while before we know if cloning is a beneficial practice in the equestrian world. If you’re a gambler, you might want to find a sports book that will let you start betting on clones right now. Maybe you’ll end up winning huge off a 10-cent bet like this lucky lady.

I’ll Have Another trainer Doug O’Neill won $20,000 from a $100 bet on his horse

When I’ll Have Another was retired the day before the Belmont Stakes earlier this month because of tendinitis, horse racing enthusiasts were extremely disappointed. After winning both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness (in a photo finish), I’ll Have Another had a shot at the coveted Triple Crown. While the horse’s trainer, Doug O’Neill, was likely devastated when he got the news that I’ll Have Another could no longer race, at least he had $20,000 to help ease the pain.

Back in February, one day before I’ll Have Another’s 2012 debut and three months before the Kentucky Derby, O’Neill wagered $100 on his own horse to win the race. Since I’ll Have Another was far from a household name at that time, the odds at Lucky’s Race and Sports Book in Nevada were 200-1. O’Neill thought he had a winner, so he went with his gut and wound up $20,000 richer because of it.

However, O’Neill is facing a fine of $15,000 in California for an elevated carbon dioxide violation — his third in the state — along with a 45-day suspension starting July 1. At least his gut instinct may have saved him from having to pay the fine out of pocket.

O’Neill cashed the ticket in person Monday at the Lucky’s betting parlor inside the Primm Valley Resort and Casino at the Nevada-California state line. O’Neill posed for pictures with surprised patrons and signed the winning ticket (pictured), which Lucky’s marketing director Dan Shaprio put out on Twitter.

Union Rags wins Belmont Stakes in photo finish (Video)

There was no Triple Crown bid at the Belmont Stakes, but the finish to the race was as thrilling as it gets.

Race favorite Union Rags came from behind to beat Paynter by a neck. Even though I’ll Have Another pulled out of the race because of an injury, Union Rags did exactly what the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner had down — he came back to beat a Bob Baffert-trained horse.

Here’s a look at the photo finish to see just how close it was:

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