01/13/2016 11:06AM

Jerardi: Hoping for a 2016 filled with cash and Chrome

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Barbara D. Livingston
Was California Chrome's victory in the San Pasqual a springboard to victories in the Dubai World Cup and Breeders' Cup Classic?

If my memory is correct, it was at about this time last year that I predicted American Pharoah would win the Triple Crown. (Actually, when I looked back, I noticed somebody writing under my name predicted Dortmund would win the Kentucky Derby.)

So, forget predictions for now, and let’s concentrate on what I would like to see happen in 2016.

◗ Me being beamed to Gulfstream Park or Santa Anita for the next two months to play the races and wander South Beach or the Santa Monica Promenade while keeping an eye on the Aqueduct standings as my man, Kendrick Carmouche, does what I actually did predict – win big on a major circuit. If you watched him every day at Parx, as I did for years, you knew he had the intelligence and ability to win anywhere. He is now proving it.

◗ See California Chrome win the Dubai World Cup. If there is a nicer man on earth than Art Sherman, I have not met him. When I introduced myself the Tuesday morning before the 2014 Kentucky Derby, it took maybe 10 seconds for Sherman to make me feel like his best friend. Yes, he liked that I had been writing for weeks that California Chrome was going to win the Derby, another rare correct prediction, but he was just so genuine.

And the former jockey had some stories. I will never forget the hour or so before the Preakness, when he took his rapt audience through a tour of his life on the track. When it was finally time for California Chrome to head for the paddock, Sherman stopped talking, but he never stopped smiling.

◗ Have the Derby superfecta. I did not even bet the super last May, a sad occasion necessitated by the knowledge that it was no year to try to beat the favorites. I did catch the exacta, which got me out for the week and set up a very nice Preakness weekend marred only by whatever the name of that horse was who ran through the monsoon to be second to American Pharoah, costing me what looked like a lock exacta at the quarter pole.

◗ Have numerous crabs in the annual post-Preakness extravaganza, where a bunch of us sit around a table, rehash the Preakness, look forward to the Belmont Stakes, and solve the world’s problems (including, perhaps, Donald Trump loose on the lead in the primaries), surrounded by crabs and the mess that is left behind after dozens of them get beaten up by mallets and knives.

◗ Have a horse live for the Triple Crown. I don’t care if the horse wins; that would be asking way too much.

◗ Me in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., for the entire meet, getting up really early, hanging out with Beyer Speed Figure guru Mark Hopkins at the Reading Room, gambling, and cashing enough bets to replenish my E-ZPass for the ride back down Interstate 87 in September. Failing that, and since being there for the whole meet doesn’t seem likely, I will take just a few days at the Spa, absolutely one of my favorite places on earth.

◗ Me making my first Del Mar appearance since 1999, when I was there to interview the legendary Laffit Pincay Jr. a few months before he broke Bill Shoemaker’s record for career wins by a jockey. Is there a better feeling in America than coming down the hill from La Jolla with the Pacific Ocean spread out below, knowing Del Mar is just around the bend?

◗ Get at least one of the Triple Crown race winners to Parx for the Pennsylvania Derby so the race can get the Grade 1 status it has pretty much earned over the last few years.

◗ See California Chrome win the Breeders’ Cup Classic, a race he came so close to winning in 2014. The 2016 Dubai World Cup and BC Classic would make up for the Triple Crown he did not win but should have.

◗ Me being alive to California Chrome in the Classic as a pick six single after getting not one, not two, but three longshots home in the earlier races. When the pick six will-pays appear, there is exactly one ticket with California Chrome on it.

There is a chance that I may be asking for too much this year, so if we are limiting this to one request, let’s go with the Derby superfecta or BC pick six, whichever payoff is greater.

Bruce More than 1 year ago
I, my , me, me, my, I , ... Whew
Joel Firsching More than 1 year ago
Beyers explanation of chrome's 103 beyer was bogus. The winning optional claimer in the previous race was sitting in 7th place, well off the pace. So he ran very similar fractions that hrome did. Eight beyer points less than chrome is a joke.