California Chrome chasing pot of gold

Willie Grace | 5/20/2014, 3:45 p.m. | Updated on 5/20/2014, 3:45 p.m.
Already dubbed a horse racing "rock star," California Chrome's owners are laying plans to maximize the thoroughbred's rising profile ahead ...

Already dubbed a horse racing "rock star," California Chrome's owners are laying plans to maximize the thoroughbred's rising profile ahead of the colt's bid to win the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown.

Having won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes -- the other two legs of the Triple Crown -- California Chrome would become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to achieve the ultimate feat in thoroughbred racing should he triumph in New York next month.

Owners Steve Coburn and Perry Martin and their wives Carolyn Coburn and Denise Martin, have registered the name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, according to records filed on Thursday May 15.

The move will give the owners license to use the name "California Chrome" on athletic apparel including shirts, pants, jackets, footwear, hats and caps.

The three-year-old colt is arguably rapidly becoming the biggest racing sensation since the retirements of Frankel and Black Caviar.

Frankel, who retired undefeated after winning all 14 of his races in October 2012, was estimated to be worth $168 million.

Black Caviar, the mare who dominated Australian racing, retired in April 2013 after 25 consecutive victories and amassing nearly eight million dollars in prize money.

She was featured on the front page of Australian Vogue magazine and was even voted as the country's top sportswoman.

Only 11 of the 38 horses who have won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes have gone on to complete the dream treble with victory at the Belmont Stakes.

The colt coasted to victory in Baltimore last Saturday to win the 139th Preakness Stakes -- and is now favourite for victory in the $1.5 million race in New York on June 7.

California Chrome was born to a mare named Love the Chase, purchased by Coburn and Martin for $8,000 with a view to breeding.

She was bred to the stallion Lucky Pulpit for a reduced fee of $2,000, the first breeding the novice pair had ever undertaken.

Their offspring had earned Coburn and Perry more than $2.3 million in prize money before the Preakness, also chalking up wins at the Santa Anita Derby, San Felipe Stakes and California Cup Derby.

After its Preakness success California Chrome became front page news after New York racing officials decided to allow the three-year-old to wear a breathing strip during the Belmont Stakes.

His owners might not have allowed him to race without a strip, which the manufacturer says allows horses to breathe more freely and reduces the risk of bleeding in the lungs during heavy exertion.

California Chrome has worn the strips during his last six wins, including those first-place finishes at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

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