California Chrome leads poll heading into Belmont


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New York, NY ( - The last pre-Belmont Stakes poll of 3-year- olds belongs completely to California Chrome.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner received all 42 first-place votes, good for 420 points, only five days before his attempt at becoming the 12th Triple Crown champion.

"I have a lot of options with California Chrome. I believe I have a better chance than I did in 2002 because I have a different kind of horse," said the colt's jockey Victory Espinoza who rode War Emblem 12 years ago in winning the first two legs of the Triple Crown.

Leading 3-year-old filly Untapable is second in the voting with 337 points followed by Ride On Curlin (304), Wicked Strong (262), Danza (215), Commanding Curve (205), Samraat (146), Tonalist (112), Hoppertunity (67) and Social Inclusion (64).

Danza and Hoppertunity are the only colts in the top 10 who will not start the Belmont Stakes.

The final NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll will be released Monday, June 9.

California Chrome and Untapable both figure prominently in the NTRA National Poll which is led by two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan.

Currently recovering from surgery last month, Wise Dan received 20 first- place votes and 375 points. The 7-year-old gelding is closely followed by Palace Malice who garnered nine top votes and 358 points

Sitting third in the voting is California Chrome with 13 first-place votes and 308 points. Fourth in the poll is Game On Dude (273) followed by Lea (198), Beholder (144), Untapable (123), Will Take Charge (118), Close Hatches (98) and Mucho Macho Man (97).

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