09/10/2016 7:02PM

Texas Chrome raises his game with Super Derby triumph

Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges Jr.
Texas Chrome, with C. J. McMahon aboard, holds off Dalmore and jockey Kent Desormeaux to win the Grade III Super Derby at Louisiana Downs on Saturday.

BOSSIER CITY, La. - Texas Chrome was a useful horse at one turn. He’s taken his game to another level around two, which he showed Saturday when he battled Dalmore for a half-length win in the Grade 3, $400,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs.

The victory was the sixth in a stakes for Texas Chrome – and his biggest yet. He also gave his connections, Danny Keene, trainer J.R. Caldwell, and jockey C.J. McMahon, the richest win of their careers.

The Super Derby was the centerpiece of the meet, and it anchored a card of five stakes that were worth a cumulative $700,000.

Texas Chrome ($6.20) earned a fees-paid berth into the Super Derby with his win in last month’s $100,000 Prelude Stakes at Louisiana Downs. He took advantage of the full ride. Texas Chrome settled just off the pace set by Dalmore, who was up by a length through fractions of 24.59 seconds for the opening quarter and 49.13 for the half-mile.

Texas Chrome advanced through six furlongs in 1:13.27 in the 1 1/8-mile race, forged toward the lead coming into the stretch, and fought with Dalmore through the lane. Texas Chrome covered the distance on a fast track in 1:49.87.

“Coming up to the five-sixteenths pole, I saw a hole open up and I opted to go for it and he showed me he was game to go and so was I,” McMahon said. “He accelerated and he finished phenomenally for me.”

Dalmore finished three-quarters of a length in front of third-place finisher Whateverybodywants. Mo Tom, who was favored over second choice Dalmore, finished fifth.

Texas Chrome won three stakes last year at 2, including the $100,000 Gold Rush Futurity at Arapahoe Park and the $55,000 Governor’s Cup at Zia Park. He tried two turns for the first time in May, and rolled by more than 10 lengths in the Texas Stallion Stakes at Lone Star Park. Texas Chrome then ran third in the Grade 3 Matt Winn at Churchill and second in the Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows before landing in the Prelude.

Caldwell said he had a great deal of respect for the competition heading into the Super Derby, but he also had a lot of confidence in how Texas Chrome was coming up into the race Saturday. 

“He came out of the Prelude so well,” Caldwell said. “As well as he came off of his last race, and the way he’s been training, and he had a trip across the track, I didn’t think they could outrun him. You hate to be that confident, but I knew I had the horse. Everything went right for the horse and it was our day.”

Caldwell said the next stop with Texas Chrome could be the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park. The horse is based at the Oklahoma City track. The 1 1/8-mile race is Sept. 25.

Texas Chrome earned $240,000 for his Super Derby win. Overall, he has a career record of seven wins from 12 starts for earnings of $602,462.

Texas Chrome is a son of Grasshopper and was bred in Texas by Craig Upham.

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