California man could win $1 million if Chrome wins

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) 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.

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