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Triple Crown hopeful California Chrome gallops

AP - Sports
Triple Crown hopeful California Chrome gallops
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Exercise rider Willie Delgado rides California Chrome around the track at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., Wednesday, May 21, 2014. California Chrome arrived in New York on Tuesday to begin preparations for his bid to become horse racing's first Triple Crown winner in 36 years. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK (AP) -- California Chrome has galloped 1 3/4 miles over a sloppy track at Belmont Park, with a possible 12-horse field taking shape for the Belmont Stakes in which the colt will try to win the Triple Crown.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner picked up the pace considerably as he ran through the stretch a second time Saturday. Assistant trainer Alan Sherman says California Chrome often loafs the first mile and then works harder.

As many as 11 other horses could take on California Chrome in the Belmont on June 7, including Peter Pan winner Tonalist, who galloped at the same time as the chestnut colt Saturday.

Other possible Belmont runners include Commissioner and Intense Holiday; Wood winner Wicked Strong; Derby runner-up Commanding Curve; Preakness runner-up Ride On Curlin; Kid Cruz; Matuszak; Samraat; Social Inclusion; and Candy Boy.

No horse has won the Triple Crown facing more than seven rivals, which Seattle Slew and Citation did in 1977 and 1948, respectively. Secretariat in 1973 and Affirmed, the most recent Triple Crown winner in 1978, both defeated four others.

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