RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- California Chrome is winning more than races these days. He's winning the hearts of locals, and area casino executives say they are seeing a bump at the sportsbooks because of it.
The horse's co-owner, Steve Coburn, is from Topaz Lake, and is seen as a "good old boy", who has gone from rags to riches.
Area casino executives say the horse and the story that goes behind it captures the imagination as well as a lot of local interest. "I think people tend to think that Topaz is a suburb of Reno," said Eldorado Vice-President of Casino Marketing Rick Murdock. "I think that's why there's so much interest in this horse, just because of the story behind the owner. He's a working man and what a story!"
"This horse comes out of nowhere to win two parts of the Triple Crown, and he's going for the third."
At the Atlantis Hotel-Casino, Casino Marketing Executive Craig Pleva said their sports book is also seeing an increase in horse betting because of California Chrome. Pleva said the bets are from locals and their smaller bets from casual gamblers. "It's the same as a local team. You will see a lot of smaller bets, because fans like to have that involvement with the outcome. We're seeing those types of bets on California Chrome."
California Chrome came out of nowhere to win the Kentucky Derby. Then, he won again at the Preakness Stakes this past weekend. He is now scheduled to race at the Belmont Stakes on June 7.
Right now, he is the leading favorite. "You got to bet five to win three, but I think most horse betters know you either have to win an Exacto or hit a Trifecta," said Murdock. "Those are the best odds that you can make any money. It's probably not the best bet, but you have to bet him, because he's favored and if you like him, you're going to bet him."