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- shine for me -

I made it all the way to call to the post without my nerves sproinging apart like overtightened wires. But now everyone's saddled and up and turning onto the track, and there isn't quite enough oxygen in this room.

Chromie's already the richest-ever North American racehorse. If he wins this, he'll be the richest in the world. Ever.

Frosted's here. Keen Ice. Most people think the horse with the best chance of pulling an upset is Arrogate, who won the Travers by miles and miles and is trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Mike Smith (who has three previous Classic wins, including Zennie, and twenty-four BC wins altogether). Baffert would be the first trainer to win three Classics and consecutive at that, but... Sorry, Bob. Can't love you today.

(But everybody loves Chrome.)

They're back at Santa Anita this year. The sun is setting and the mountains turn to gold.

(Next year, it'll be at Del Mar for the first time. They'll be running to the ocean when they turn for home!)

They're coming to the gate, and he looks like he's made of liquid.

(Is Arrogate a grey? He's a very strange shade of dark, with a roany kind of face.)

...he was so close. So close. He went nearly wire to wire. And Arrogate got him at the end. Just right there, right before the wire. Not as close as the Distaff, not a photo finish, but...just enough. By a neck. And then a million miles back to the rest of the field.

He'll have one more race, the inaugural running of the Pegasus World Cup, in January. And THAT will be the richest race in the world, because one of the groups over here said, "Hey, let's make a race that's even richer than Dubai and see if we can get Chrome for it." So he could still go out in glory, just like Beholder, and he lost nothing in defeat, just like Songbird.

But this one, oh... This one hurt.