Cigar ~ California Chrome
California Chrome, easily identified on the track for all his "chrome," was named Horse of the Year in both 2014 and 2016, the first time for his Kentucky Derby and Preakness wins, and the second time for his win in the Dubai World Cup. It is speculated that the only reason he didn't become a Triple Crown winner is that unbeknownst to anyone, his neighbor in the starting gate had accidentally stepped on his right hind heel, taking a chunk out of his heel as they started the race. After winning at Dubai, Chrome became the highest-earning North American horse in history.
All of this is just data to his fans - Chromies, as they call themselves, love the horse for his "commoner" background. Owned and trained by folks who aren't big names in the sport, Chrome's success feels very special to everyday people who love an underdog. Chrome was retired to stud in 2017 and we look forward to seeing his first crop of foals!
California Chrome was honored with a Breyer portrait model on the Cigar mold in 2018. It shows off his four high socks, wide blaze, and his unique dark spot on his right hindquarter, known in the horse world as a Bend-Or spot, after the best-known horse that had them, who was also a sorrel Thoroughbred. This release was retired in 2019.
Breyer Model #1792