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Triple Crown Hopeful California Chrome Gallops

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(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

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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.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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