SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Cal Expo is hoping interest from Triple Crown contender California Chrome will spark a new interest in horse racing in Northern California.

Third-generation horse trainer Jamey Thomas is already camped out at the Cal Expo barns with his 14 thoroughbreds. The Sacramento-area native has been racing horses at the California State Fair for years.

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Thomas is hoping interest from Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome can draw bigger crowds this year.

“I’m hoping there’s gonna be some people who jump on the bandwagon,” Thomas said.

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Cal Expo director of racing Larry Swartzlander says new promotions combined with Chrome’s fame should bring more people to the racetrack, which is free with state fair admission.

“Fairs are where we breed the newcomers,” he said. “People come at the major tracks like Golden Gate, San Anita—they don’t start there, they start here at the fairs.”

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State Fair horse racing runs from July 11-13 and July 17-20.