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Myriad factors make winning Triple Crown so tough

Myriad factors make winning Triple Crown so tough

File Photo: Exercise rider William Delgado plays with Kentucky Derby hopeful California Chrome after a morning workout at Churchill Downs Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. Photo: Associated Press/AP Photo/Garry Jones

BETH HARRIS, AP Racing Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Three races in a five-week span at varying distances on different tracks. It’s so tough only 11 horses have won the Triple Crown, and none in 36 years.

It’s the longest span without a winner. Now it’s California Chrome’s turn to try on Saturday at the Belmont Stakes.

The striking chestnut colt with a blaze and four white feet appears to have rebounded well after two hard races in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, with the most exhausting still to come. He’ll run 1 1/2 miles around Belmont’s sweeping oval with 10 rivals gunning to keep history from happening.

Before Affirmed swept the 1978 Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont, 25 years had passed between Citation in 1948 and Secretariat in 1973.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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