California Chrome was unfazed, but millions of bettors might be skittish, after a wayward opossum ran next to the Triple Crown contender and came in ahead of the Derby and Preakness winner.
The homely little critter briefly joined the majestic chestnut colt during his 1 3/4-mile gallop Friday morning at Belmont Park and came in first by a little pointed nose.
Assistant trainer Alan Sherman said the opossum's run not far off the outside rail and parallel to the colt's right flank, didn't make California Chrome lose focus.
"Nothing," Sherman said. "It didn't faze him. We get coyotes in California all the time, so it was no big deal.
"The track was a little heavier than it was, but he seemed to handle it fine."
Bandwagon bettors might take this as an bad omen but po' cat lovers — and there are a few — think this is a good sign.