If you’re young and from California, you should be rooting for the Kentucky Derby champion, California Chrome.
The horse is emblematic of the rising generation of Californians in three ways.
1. He’s a native. In fact, California Chrome is the first California-bred horse to win the Derby in more than a half century. That’s history, and so is this. Today’s young Californians are the first generation of Californians to be majority homegrown – they were born and raised here. A majority of previous generations were from somewhere else – another state or country.
2. He wasn’t born rich. California is becoming a more working-class place. And today’s young Californians have to struggle more, to work harder, than previous generations did to get ahead. California Chrome is a working-class horse, not born to wealth. Indeed, his breeding cost just $10,000, extremely low for Kentucky Derby winners, who often cost millions.
3. He doesn’t live in a fancy place near the beach. Housing prices are so high at or near the California coast that population growth in California has been strongest inland, and in less pricier precincts. California Chrome, in a similar fashion, doesn’t live at the big fancy Southern California race track, Santa Anita. He lives and trains at a small, underdog track, Los Alamitos Race Course, which is better known as a place for quarter horses, not thoroughbreds.
Bottom line: California Chrome is a true Californian, of the 21st century type. Now, on to the Preakness!