ESPINOZA IS FIRST-EVER SANTA ANITA DERBY MILLIONAIRE FINALIST
ARCADIA, Calif. (May 26, 2014)–California Chrome’s immediate family aside, no one will be pulling any harder for the California-bred superstar to become racing’s first Triple Crown winner since 1978 than longtime Santa Anita fan Eddie Espinoza, who stands to bank a cool $1 million if “Chrome” wins the mile and one half Belmont Stakes on June 7.
Espinoza, 71, who resides in nearby Whittier with his wife, Susan, is Santa Anita’s first-ever finalist in its Santa Anita Millionaire Contest, which began on Santa Anita Derby Day, April 5.
Win, lose, or draw, Espinoza has already had a great run courtesy of Santa Anita Park and California Chrome. With The Great Race Place providing win wagers in the Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby and Preakness in the amounts of $5,000, $7,500 and $10,000 respectively, Espinoza has already banked $49,000, plus a round trip visit to Baltimore for “Chrome’s” Preakness triumph on May 17.
Although the Espinozas were on-hand to witness the Preakness in person, they have made it clear they will return to the site of their lucky win in the Kentucky Derby on May 3–Santa Anita’s luxurious Eddie Logan Suite, hard by the Club House turn.
“We’re going to watch it right here, on the front row, in the Eddie Logan Suite,” the couple said in unison on Derby Day, May 3.
“There is so, so much to the California Chrome story and Eddie and his wife are certainly a big part of it,” said Santa Anita President Tom Ludt. “This is truly the opportunity of a lifetime for them and all of us here at Santa Anita are rooting for them. We look forward to hosting them here on Belmont Day and we’ll be wishing them the best of luck.”
A California-bred chestnut colt by Lucky Pulpit out of the Not For Love mare Love the Chase, California Chrome is bidding to become the first-ever California-bred to win racing’s most coveted title, The Triple Crown.
Owned by Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, California Chrome is trained by Art Sherman and has been ridden to victory in his last six starts by Victor Espinoza, who, for the record, is not related to Millionaire Contest finalist Eddie Espinoza.