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The enormously popular 3-year-old California Chrome, a smashing winner of the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita on March 8, is a California-bred, but his first two dams are all Maryland. 

Milton P. Higgins III purchased the Sir Ivor mare Chase the Dream for $52,000 at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale in 1993. Her final foal, the Polish Numbers filly Chase It Down, born in 1997, was bred in the name of Higgins’ partners Tom and Chris Bowman, and competed for Higgins and Bowman Stable. A modest winner -- her only victory came in a maiden special weight at Charles Town in her seventh start -- the filly was retired to the Dance Forth Farm broodmare band in Chestertown. 

Bred primarily to Mr. Prospector sons, Chase It Down produced six foals from 2002 to 2009. Her son by Not For Love, Jojo’s Bandit, sold for $70,000 as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky summer sale in 2005 (he never started). Chase It Down’s second most expensive sales horse was her 2006 filly by Not For Love, who brought $30,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May 2-year-olds in training sale on a final bid by West coast trainer Greg Gilchrist (of Lost in the Fog fame).

Named Love the Chase, the chestnut Not For Love filly raced exclusively at Golden Gate, and broke her maiden in her fourth start for an $8,000 tag while in the care of Gilchrist for Blinkers On Racing Stable and partners. When she concluded her career two starts later, she was in the barn of Monty R. Meier for owners Steven Coburn and Perry Martin.

Coburn and Martin are the breeders and owners of California Chrome, who has now won three straight stakes and five of his nine career starts for $534,850. California Chrome (by Lucky Pulpit) is the first foal for Love the Chase. And he currently ranks high on lists of Kentucky Derby top prospects, among them Steve Haskin’s Derby Dozen.

 

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