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Originally published June 2, 2014 at 8:59 PM | Page modified June 2, 2014 at 11:28 PM

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California Chrome’s success defies the odds

Byron Rogers, whose business is scientifically analyzing genetic makeup of racehorses, estimates one in 50,000 horses has the ability and the stamina of a California Chrome, the colt who will try to become the 12th Triple Crown winner Saturday at Belmont Park.


Horse racing

California Chrome beats huge odds with his success

A message to horse lovers and dreamers out there: This will not happen to you.

Well, almost certainly not.

For all the buzz California Chrome’s feel-good run at the Triple Crown is generating, his seemingly too-good-to-be-true story will seldom repeat itself, according to the numbers.

The colt that will line up at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday in Elmont, N.Y., is the product of an unspectacular mare and an equally unheralded stallion and was bred in a state other than Kentucky.

Byron Rogers, whose business is scientifically analyzing genetic makeup of racehorses, estimates one in 50,000 horses has the ability and the stamina of a California Chrome. He is the sort of horse that shows up maybe once every three years, but even then doesn’t always find his way into the spotlight because success requires a magic mix of the right owners, trainer and opportunity.

About 21,00 Thoroughbred foals are born each year and about 3.5 percent are talented enough to compete in a stakes race at some point in their careers.

California Chrome was born at Harris Farms in Coalinga, Calif., and is trained by 77-year-old Art Sherman.

“This horse had everything go his way,” Rogers said.

Rogers said for each time California Chrome’s parents — sire Lucky Pulpit and dam Love the Chase — would be paired, odds are about one in 10 their offspring would make it to a stakes race.

College baseball

Top-seeded Oregon State is eliminated in NCAAs

Oregon State, the No. 1 national seed in the 64-team NCAA tournament, lost 4-2 to UC Irvine in the Corvallis Regional title game.

Of the eight national seeds, five failed to win their double-elimination regional despite playing at home. Oregon State joined No. 2 Florida, No. 4 Indiana, No. 5 Florida State and No. 8 Louisiana State as regional losers.

The number of national seeds that lost in regionals matches 2007 for the most since the NCAA went to its current tournament format in 1999.

Freshman Tommy Edman hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Stanford to a 5-4 victory over Indiana in the championship game of the Bloomington Regional.

Of the five Pac-12 teams in the NCAA field, Stanford is the only one to advance to the super-regional level.

College softball

Florida blanks SEC rival

Hannah Rogers threw a four-hitter as Florida defeated Southeastern Conference rival Alabama 5-0 in Game 1 of the best-of-three Women’s College World Series championship final in Oklahoma City.

ELSEWHERE

• A Brazilian judge sentenced the son of soccer legend Pele to 33 years in prison after finding him guilty of laundering money for a drug gang.

Judge Suzana Pereira said Edson Cholbi do Nascimento, 43, can remain free as he appeals.

• Forward David Villa of Spain has signed a three-year contract with New York City FC, becoming the first player on the expansion Major League Soccer team that starts play next season at Yankee Stadium. Villa, 32, was acquired on a transfer from Spanish-league champion Atletico Madrid.

• A Las Vegas gambler being investigated for possible insider trading allegedly involving golfer Phil Mickelson and investor Carl Icahn says it is “preposterous to think” he would be involved in such activity.

Billy Walters issued a statement saying he has never made inside stock-market trades.

A federal official briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press the FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission are analyzing trades Mickelson and Walters made involving Clorox at the same time Icahn was attempting to take over the company. When Icahn’s intent became public, the stock price jumped.

• Unbeaten boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. cut ties with Golden Boy Promotions — which was co-founded by Oscar De La Hoya — hours after Richard Schaefer resigned as Golden Boy’s CEO, according to an ESPN report.

Chuck Wielgus, USA Swimming chief executive officer, has withdrawn from this year’s International Swimming Hall of Fame induction class, a week after the release of a report that criticized the handling of sexual-abuse cases by the organization under his leadership.

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