ELMONT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — At 6:52 p.m. on Saturday, California Chrome will attempt to win the Triple Crown.
For many of the thousands of people at Belmont Park, it will all come down to the little ticket in their hands, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Friday.
Call them cool calculations for California Chrome. Casual fans were learning about lines, wagers and odds, while mingling with serious handicappers on the day before the race the whole world will be watching.
“I saw his first commanding race at Hollywood Park and that was phenomenal, fantastic,” said California horse racing fan Kim Hetrick.
McLogan met a couple from Napa Valley that has benefited from California Chrome’s potential, making $4,000 at the Kentucky Derby and $2,100 at the Preakness Stakes, with the hope that Saturday brings them more glory.
“You don’t bet California Chrome straight. You try to find him an exotic bet where you put him on top of other horses, like a trifecta or exacta or superfecta,” horse racing fan Mark Erwin said.
Some bettors were placing bets at Belmont machines, while others, like the Mistys of South Carolina, were taking a more deliberate approach. They had California Chrome finishing first, but were unsure about second and third.
“Ride On Curlin, I think, is a good choice,” Betty Misty said, adding she’d also consider Beverly, Mass.-based Wicked Strong.
“I am a bit of a rogue when it comes to that,” Ernie Misty said of his betting strategy. “I normally wait for the post parade. I look at the horses and pick out the one I think will win.”
Other horse racing fans from Texas were splurging, putting $124 on California Chrome to win, and then $300 on a combination of other win-place-shows.
“Here’s $50 tickets to win, and then I went ahead and put some exacta and trifecta boxes together with him on top,” one fan said.
The racetrack at Belmont Park is a unique mixture of sand, clay and silt. Will that be a perfect recipe for the hooves of California Chrome? We’ll see on Saturday.
And although California Chrome has been picked as the chosen one by both experts and fans, potential spoilers could be Commanding Curve and Wicked Strong. They’ll be aiming to prove themselves following the Kentucky Derby upset, McLogan reported.
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