Race to the Triple Crown

Race to the Triple Crown

Triple Crown glory could await American Pharoah at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 6, on NBC.

California Man Could Win $1 Million if Chrome Wins

Eddie Espinoza is in line for the big payout as part of a contest staged by Santa Anita

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Exercise rider Willie Delgado laughs as he waits to guide Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome onto a trailer at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Tuesday, May 20, 2014.

    Eddie Espinoza will be cheering a little louder than anyone else for California Chrome in the Belmont Stakes.

    If the colt becomes the first horse to sweep the Triple Crown in 36 years, Espinoza will win $1 million.

    The 71-year-old racing fan from Whittier, California is in line for the big payout as part of a contest staged by Santa Anita. Espinoza was randomly selected on April 5 to participate. That day he placed a $5,000 win bet — funded by the track — on California Chrome, who won the Santa Anita Derby. Espinoza collected $8,000: the initial wager plus the payout.

    On May 3, Espinoza bet $7,500, again paid for by the track, on California Chrome to win the Kentucky Derby. The colt did and Espinoza earned $26,000.

    He used $10,000 provided by Santa Anita to wager on the Preakness, which Espinoza and his wife attended as part of the contest. California Chrome won again, allowing Espinoza to cash for $15,000, earning a total of $49,000 on the three races.

    Espinoza plans to watch the Belmont on June 7 at Santa Anita.