Common Man, Exceptional Horse

GARDNERVILLE, NV - Topaz, it's a remote, yet beautiful area of northern Nevada.

One of the last places you'd expect to find the co-owner of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome.

"My heart just overflows with pride, because I have known all along, since I saw this Colt when he was a day old, that this horse was going to do something special and he has, he has never let me down," says Steve Coburn, California Chrome co-owner.

Far removed from race tracks in Minden or Gardnerville, you can see mentions here and there of California Chrome.

Most weekdays, though, you can find Coburn at Hamdogs having lunch.

“There was one family in particular who just happened to be in town and they came in every day after the Preakness hoping to run into Steve. And then the very last day they were here, as they were walking out the door, they ran into him and ended up staying for a few hours,” says Dustin Mills of Hamdogs.

Mills says Coburn has been coming here for 15 years.

Part sports bar, part diner, Mills says the memorabilia on the purple and green walls have been handed over by customers.

That's including pictures of California Chrome's lineage and his most recent victories.

“It's never been a snooty thing for him. He just loves the horse,” says Mills.

Saturday, Mills says it will be a regular business day.

The dart club will meet in the back and probably more than a couple of locals will stop by at 3. All TVs will be on the Belmont Stakes.

“It would get pretty crazy. You would probably be able to hear us, hear us at the race,” says Mills.

Mills wouldn't go as far as to say, “drinks on the house.”