Perry and Denise Martin knew they had something special only hours after their horse California Chrome was born at the Harris Farms in Coalinga three years ago.
"We got a call the mare is foaling, so we jumped in the truck and took off," Martin told News10 from his Martin Testing Laboratory at McClellan Park. "We got there two hours after he was born and he was already running circles around momma, and she was just spinning in place just watching him."
Three years later, California Chrome has become a rock star of the horse racing world. On Wednesday, he opened as the (5-2) favorite to win the Kentucky Derby after winning four straight.
The streak began in December of 2013 when jockey Victor Espinoza (2002 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner on War Emblem) began guiding California Chrome with a victory at the King Glorious Stakes. The streak continued in 2014 with wins at the California Derby Cup, San Felipe Stakes and most recently the Santa Anita Derby last April.
"Every race he keeps getting better," Martin said. "He is growing, he has put on more muscle, and believe it or not he is getting taller."