Lots of Kentucky Support for California Chromes' Bid at Making History

Jun 6, 2014

Credit newyork.cbslocal.com

California Chrome is the talk of the sports world right now, on and off the horse racing track.  Industry leaders aren't the only ones thinking about tomorrow's Belmont race. 

California Chrome is seeking to go into the history books as the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.  Ronald Clark was involved in racing when Affirmed won the Derby, Preakness, and Belmont.  Clark's worked at Keeneland for 53 years as a foreman and shed manager.  "I think the horse will win, cause he can lay anywhere and you don't know how good he is really.  Only thing that might hurt him is going a mile and a half. I mean he's never been that far and that's a challenge to everybody in the Triple Crown.  But, I think he's the horse, I think he'll win it, myself," said Clark.

Just across the way at another barn in the Keeneland Training Center, Ackel Hebert was busy distributing feed.   Hebert, a Louisiana native, is pulling for California Chrome, but adds it's the first time for any of the competing horses to run this far.   "He's never gonna have to run this far again.  Most of these horses are never gonna have to run this far again.  So, you don't quite know if anyone can run this far.  This is a first time for everybody to run this far.  You don't know.  You're hoping for it.  Don't know it until you cross the wire," said Hebert.

Hebert says he was first licensed as an exercise rider in 1972.  He says he's also been a jockey and trainer during his time at the track.