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California Chrome will race at Belmont Saturday looking to become the first horse racing Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.

That means it’s a much different raceday at Batavia Downs this weekend with the possibility of a racing achievement fans haven’t seen in 36 years.

“We’ll have a huge crowd just like the Kentucky Derby,” Todd Haight, Director of Live Racing, said.

Haight says the fact that the three-minute race becomes a full-day event benefits Batavia Downs.

“We have people showing up actually at 11:30, they’ll have lunch at one of our locations and then they’ll be on the gaming floor a little bit and they’ll keep their eye on the races that are going on,” he said.

Sure there will be fun activities and games – fans can even mimic California Chrome with nasal strips – but it’s OK to admit it’s about the money, too.

“It’s going to be very difficult to make money betting him to win,” Haight said, “but certainly I can show you how to hook him up in an exacta or trifecta where now you’re giving yourself an opportunity, even if he if he wins at a very short price, to make some money.”

Haight said he watched Affirmed race in Saratoga the Triple Crown year and says Saturday is a special one for racing fans.

“The Triple crown has some find memories for me,” he said, “and it’s been an awful long time. If it’s going to happen, this is the year. California Chrome has been a dominate winner in his first two races and if he can get that mile-and-a-half distance, he’s probably going to win.”

Post time for the race for those watching at home is 6:52 p.m.

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KenBarrett
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