COURTESY OF GREAT RACE PLACE, CALIFORNIA CHROME PROVIDING PLENTY OF GOLD FOR WHITTIER COUPLE
ARCADIA, Calif. (May 17, 2014)–By winning today’s $1.5 million Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, Md., superstar California Chrome continues to touch and indeed enrich the lives of many thousands of racing fans across the world, perhaps none more profoundly than longtime Santa Anita fan, Eddie Espinoza of nearby Whittier, who stands to win a cool million dollars should “The Chrome” win the mile and one half Belmont Stakes on June 7 and thereby become racing’s first Triple Crown winner in 36 years.
A preliminary winner in Santa Anita’s inaugural Santa Anita Derby Millionaire Contest, Espinoza is on the ride of a lifetime–courtesy of California Chrome. Flown to Baltimore by The Great Race Place, Espinoza, 71, and his wife, Susan, were on-hand at Pimlico Racecourse for California Chrome’s epic Preakness victory today, and, with a $10,000 Santa Anita win wager in-hand, they cashed for $15,000.
“I feel so blessed, this is awesome,” said Eddie Espinoza. “I want to thank Santa Anita for this opportunity. Look where a normal day at the track has taken us.”
Selected randomly on Santa Anita Derby Day, April 5, Espinoza tabbed trainer Art Sherman’s California Chrome to win and he picked up $8,000, which included a $5,000 win bet provided by the track.
Comfortably ensconced with his wife, Susan and a group of family and friends in Santa Anita’s elegant Eddie Logan Suite on Kentucky Derby Day, May 3, Espinoza was all smiles following the California-bred’s win in the Run for the Roses, as Espinoza cashed a $7,500 win wager placed for him by Santa Anita, resulting in a Derby Day score of $26,000.
Espinoza, who has been coming regularly to Santa Anita for “about 20 years,” was unequivocal when asked following the Kentucky Derby as to where he and his wife would be when California Chrome loads into the starting gate for a shot at equine immortality on June 7.
“We’re going to watch it right here, on the front row, in the Eddie Logan Suite,” the couple said in unison.
Win, lose or draw on Belmont Stakes Day, the Espinozas have already had a great run, banking $49,000 via the Santa Anita Derby Millionaire Contest, but along with hundreds of thousands of fans everywhere, the couple is hoping CHROME turns to a million dollars in GOLD in the Big Apple.