YUBA CITY (CBS13) — The favorite to win Saturday’s Kentucky Derby comes from a local story of a man’s small investment that could make him millions.

At the Happy Viking in Yuba City, the glasses are filled with brew and the people with pride

California Chrome, the favorite to win on biggest day in horse racing, is owned by Perry Martin, who lives right here in Yuba City.

The city doesn’t make national or even state headlines much of time, and for people in this city of 65,000, it’s a surprise to be on the national map.

“It’s a small town, and a lot of time being in Northern California,” said Teresa Ruiz. “There’s so much in the state of California. So it’s really unusual.”

The Martin family is in Kentucky for the race, but we caught up with Perry’s co-worker Debbie Wong.

“As soon as California chrome was born, he had this big huge derby dream. We kinda thought he was crazy,” she said.

She’s the office manager at the business Perry runs. She’s proud of her boss, who is no Kentucky blue blood, but a working man who spent $10,000 on the the investment that’s already made him $1 million.

“This is a dream come true for Perry and Denise,” she said.

If California Chrome wins the derby on Saturday, it will be the first time a horse from the state has won in 50 years.

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