California Chrome is the Talk of Douglas County - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

California Chrome is the Talk of Douglas County

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California Chrome could race into the history books this weekend, looking to win the horse racing's first Triple Crown since 1978.  It doesn't get any bigger than the Belmont Stakes when the Triple Crown is on the line.

At Minden's Carson Valley Inn, it's even more magnified because the favorite has local ties. Bill Henderson is the Director of Sales at the Carson Valley Inn, and says California Chrome is the toast of Douglas County. "Usually, a major Triple Crown race is something that 'they' attend, and now it's something that we can put our arms around, here in the community," Henderson said.

"Everybody's rooting for him, the town," Mike Pegram, Carson Valley Inn Owner said. "It is a big deal to think that the people from Gardnerville have a horse going to win the Triple Crown, and I think he'll do it."

Steve and Carolyn Coburn are Topaz Lake residents. They are also co-owners of California Chrome, the 3-5 favorite to win the Belmont Stakes.

"There's only 11 horses ever win the Triple Crown, so that's your date with destiny if you're able to pull it off," Pegram said.

Pegram knows exactly what it's like to own a horse that's racing in the Belmont Stakes, after winning the Kentucky Derby and The Preakness. "I was there in 1998, and matter of fact, got beat by about this far (inches) for all of it," Pegram said. "His name was Real Quiet. Hopefully, California Chrome will have a little better luck than we did that day."

Many are hoping that luck carries over into the Carson Valley Inn Sportsbook. Large crowds are expected, if the previous two races are any indication. "The Kentucky Derby and The Preakness were electrifying here, at the Carson Valley Inn," Henderson said. "When a Triple Crown is at stake, there's a whole different atmosphere at the sportsbook."

Having the excitement of a local horse in that position is something they hope will be good for business. "Saturday, when it gets close to race time, you won't be able to find a seat in this place," Henderson said. "There will be people, packed, standing everywhere that they can see one of the TVs."

"It's good for business, good for the community," Pegram said. "Let's just hope everybody wins."  

You can count on plenty of money changing hands, this Saturday, when California Chrome takes the track. The race is set to begin at 3:52 PST.

Written by Paul Nelson

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