Let me start with a disclaimer.  This column is not really about intellectual property.  It’s about the unexpected – what happens when people stick to their principles and challenge the way it’s always been done.  Actually, this column is about a horse.  (But I’ll say something about intellectual property along the way.)

I have a second disclaimer.  I do not like horseracing.  It is physically stressful on the horses (who are mostly two and three–year olds) and they frequently get injured.  It is also a sport that often treats horses as disposable commodities; many racehorses are sent to slaughter after failed careers, although that is changing.  But this is a story with so much goodness, it has to be told.

First, the horse.  He is California Chrome.  He’s a three-year-old thoroughbred racehorse.  He now has a large fan club of “chromies” on social media everywhere.  The press calls him the Cinderella horse and the Sacramento Bee’s cartoonist Tom Meyer even portrayed him as a commencement speaker in Tuesday’s paper.  The press didn’t call him anything until he won the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the Triple Crown, on May 3.  He was definitely under the radar, born and raised in California and starting his racing career here, in a sport dominated by Kentucky-bred horses.  Then there were those who said he couldn’t win the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown.  On May 17, he won that one too, against a field of mostly fresh horses (horses who had not raced in the Kentucky Derby two weeks earlier and had had longer times to recuperate).

California Chrome is a chestnut colt with a white blaze and four white stockings.  Chestnut is a color like a shiny new copper penny.  The white markings are called “chrome” in horseracing.  His name was picked by a waitress out of several choices provided by the owners.

California Chrome was born in 2011 in Coalinga, California.  California Chrome’s sire (father) was Lucky Pulpit, who won some races in California.  His dam (mother) was Love The Chase, who won one of the six races she ran.  California Chrome was her first foal.

Trainers of other horses have observed that California Chrome has an easy-going personality, doesn’t get overly anxious going into the starting gate, and knows how to control his speed.  I could go on and on about this horse (or any horse for that matter), but I’ll move on.
Continue Reading Best of Luck to California Chrome!