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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• WIN, LOSE OR DEAD-HEAT, ‘CHROME’ IS ESPINOZA’S FAVORITE
• HRTV RECEIVES SEVEN REGIONAL EMMY AWARD NOMINATIONS
• STAKES-WINNING BIG MACHER GOES BACK TO WORK SUNDAY
ESPINOZA OFF TO ENGLAND AFTER TRIPLE CROWN RUN
From Louisville to Letterman to London, Victor Espinoza is piling up the Frequent Flyer mileage.
Recently back from the Triple Crown trail where he captured the first two jewels aboard the dragon-slaying California Chrome, only to miss in the Belmont Stakes, the 42-year-old jockey leaves for merry old England tomorrow to ride for the first time at the Royal Ascot meet starting Tuesday and running five days through next Saturday.
He took a moment before departing to reflect on his storybook journey with California Chrome, who sought to become racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner but finished in a dead-heat for fourth in the Belmont after daylight triumphs in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
“It was a great run for me and California Chrome,” Espinoza said. “He’s still my favorite. He ran a big race in the Belmont. Now that I’m back at Santa Anita, I was able to return to my normal routine for a couple of days before going to England.”
Second-guessers had their moment in the sun after the Belmont loss, but as is his wont, Espinoza took shots to the bow in stride.
“I think a lot of things went against him,” Espinoza said of California Chrome, who was unbeaten in six straight races with Espinoza up before the Belmont. “He was probably overwhelmed by the Belmont. I believe he still could have won if he hadn’t been kicked on his (right front) foot. That’s very painful for a horse.
“It may not seem like it, but that’s a tough spot to suffer a cut. It wasn’t easy to run well after what happened to him. You can make as many excuses as you want, but I really think it affected him. He didn’t get beat that far, either. Two lengths, that’s it.”
For now, Chromania is on the back burner, but both horse and jockey will live to fight another day. Tonight, Espinoza will make the coin toss at the Honda Center where the LA Kiss, whose owners include Gene Simmons of the fabled rock group, KISS, plays Portland at 7 p.m.
The game and the ceremony will be telecast by KCAL-9.
California Chrome is taking a welcome breather and not expected to race again until perhaps a month or so in front of the Nov. 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will be run for the third consecutive year on the colt’s favorite track, Santa Anita, where he won the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 5 in advance of his glorious triumph in the Run for the Roses.
Until then, it’s hi-yo, Victor, away!
HRTV RECEIVES SEVEN OHIO VALLEY REGIONAL EMMY AWARD NOMINATIONS<
HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, has received seven 2014 Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Award nominations from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences of the Ohio Valley.
The 50th annual Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Awards ceremony is slated for Saturday, Aug. 2, at the Hilton Columbus Downtown in Columbus, Ohio.
HRTV received two nominations in the "Sports-One-Time Special" category, both from its award-winning documentary show, "Inside Information." Two episodes, "Inside Information: Dancer's Image," and "Inside Information: The Rivalry, Part 1," were acknowledged.
The network gained recognition in three other "Program" categories: "HRTV Presents: Saratoga WarHorse" (Military), "The Big Cats of Carson Springs" (Human Interest), and "Shania: The Love of Horses" (Arts/Entertainment).”
HRTV's Steve Scheidler was again nominated in two categories, "Editor - Program" and "Graphic Arts."
This year’s nominations bring the network's total to 35 in its brief history. The HRTV has won Regional Emmys in the "Sports - One Time Special" category the past three years, and four out of the last five.
HRTV was honored with two 2013 Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Awards in the "Sports - One Time Special" ("Garrett Gomez: 180 Days," which was produced by Turn Left productions, in association with HRTV) and in the "Editor - Program" (Steve Scheidler) category.
FINISH LINES: Former claimer Big Macher, developed into a stakes winner by trainer Richard Baltas, is scheduled have his first work (four furlongs) tomorrow since he was sidelined with a foot issue following a workout on May 10. “He’s doing well,” said Baltas, who ranks fourth in Santa Anita’s Spring Meet standings with eight wins from 30 starts, a 27 percent winning average. “He’s had two weeks of galloping. His foot (right, front) is really good and solid.” . . . It wasn’t quite Secretariat’s Belmont, but Image of Joplin rolled to a 17 ¼-length triumph in yesterday’s second race for claiming horses in for $14,000 to $16,000. Trained by Steve Miyadi and ridden by Tiago Pereira, the 3-year-old gelded son of 2004 Santa Anita Handicap winner Southern Image was claimed by trainer Matt Chew. “It was the largest margin of victory that I remember since 2009, when I started working here,” said Tammy Boag, who operates the photo finish camera for Plusmic. Tammy is the wife of retired jockey Danny Boag, who now gallops for trainer Robertino Diodoro . . . Victor Espinoza was fined $400 (tip money) for “failure to fulfill his riding engagements . . . on June 8.” . . . Apprentice Amelia Green has been suspended three days (June 19, 20 and 21) for altering course without sufficient clearance aboard Lay It On in Thursday’s fifth race.