08/15/2014 12:56PM

California Chrome goes slowly in half-mile workout

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Scott Martinez/Los Alamitos
California Chrome breezed four furlongs in 50.40 seconds Friday at Los Alamitos.

CYPRESS, Calif. – With a time slower than expected, California Chrome continued preparations for an autumn comeback with a half-mile workout in 50.40 seconds at Los Alamitos on Friday.

The workout was the second this month for California Chrome since he lost a bid for the Triple Crown with a fourth-place finish in the Belmont Stakes on June 7. Similar to his three-furlong workout in 37.60 seconds on Aug. 8, California Chrome was not urged by exercise rider Anna Wells on Friday.

Going onto the track at dawn, California Chrome was hardly out of a gallop when he reached the three-furlong pole to start the work. California Chrome ran the first quarter-mile in 26.40 seconds, according to Alan Sherman, assistant to his father, trainer Art Sherman. California Chrome quickened in the next furlong, going in 11.40 seconds from the eighth pole to the wire, according to Alan Sherman. He completed the workout around the first turn.

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“He had a strong gallop-out,” Art Sherman said. “He was moving around the turn. As he gets to working more, he’ll work faster and faster.”

Sherman said he thought California Chrome would work quicker but emphasized that he was not seeking the fastest workout of the morning.

“I thought he covered the ground well,” Sherman said. “Everyone thinks because of who he is, he has to have a black-letter-type work, but I don’t want to do that until he’s completely fit.”

California Chrome has been at Sherman’s Los Alamitos stable for a month following a six-week break after the Belmont that included three weeks of rest at Harris Farms in Coalinga, Calif.

Owned by Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, California Chrome has won 8 of 13 starts and earned $3,532,360. He won six consecutive stakes from December 2013 to mid-May, a streak that included the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

The goal for the autumn is the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 1, with a prep race scheduled for September. The list of options was reduced this week when Los Alamitos announced that the $200,000 Los Alamitos Mile will be run Sept. 6. The race had been considered for Sept. 20.

California Chrome could return in the $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 27.