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Clear sailing for California Chrome

Published 5:30pm Sunday, June 8, 2014

NEW YORK — So far, so smooth for California Chrome.

It has been fairly clear sailing for the chestnut colt through the first two legs of the Triple Crown.

He parlayed trouble-free trips in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness into victories, setting the stage for a possible Triple Crown sweep on Saturday in the Belmont Stakes. The 1 1/2-mile Belmont, known as “The Test of a Champion,” is the longest of the three races in the series.

And, in many respects, the cruelest.

Only 11 horses have swept the three races, Affirmed the most recent in 1978.

Since then, 12 horses have captured the first two legs without completing the equine hat trick.