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Sep 19, 2014

California Chrome returns in 35th PA Derby


Bensalem, PA ( - California Chrome, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, will become the first Run for the Roses champ to start in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby as he leads a field of eight into Saturday's 1 1/8-mile race at Parx Racing.

The 3-year-old colt, owned by Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, has been away from the races since finishing in a dead heat for fourth in the Belmont Stakes on June 7 while working steadily at Los Alamitos in California.

Trained by Art Sherman, California Chrome will start the PA Derby from the inside post as the even-money morning line favorite with his regular jockey Victor Espinoza.

Before finishing the Belmont Stakes in a dead heat with Wicked Strong, California Chrome had reeled off consecutive wins this year in the California Cup Derby, San Felipe, Santa Anita Derby along with the first two legs of the Triple Crown.

California Chrome will earn a $200,000 bonus for just starting the race with $600,000 available for winning the stakes.

With eight wins in 13 lifetime starts the colt has earned $3,532,650.

Taking on 'Chrome' for the first time will be Haskell winner Bayern. Trained by Bob Baffert, Bayern will be ridden by Martin Garcia from post 4 and is the 7-2 second choice.

Owned by Kaleem Shah, Bayern is coming off a disappointing last in the 10- horse Travers four weeks ago. Prior to the Haskell, the colt won the seven- furlong Woody Stephens Stakes on the Belmont Stakes program by seven lengths.

Bayern has over $1 million in earnings with four wins in eight lifetime starts.

Here is the field for the PA Derby in position order: California Chrome, Victor Espinoza, even; Candy Boy, Joel Rosario, 12-1; Protonico, Javier Castellano, 6-1; Bayern, Martin Garcia, 7-2; Noble Moon, Irad Ortiz Jr., 15-1; Classic Giacnroll, Kendrick Carmouche, 15-1; Tapiture, Rosie Napravnik, 5-1 and C J's Awesome, Edgar Prado, 12-1.

Post time for the PA Derby will be approximately 5:40 p.m. ET.

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