03/29/2015 2:10AM

California Chrome headed to England

Mathea Kelley/Dubai Racing Club
California Chrome trains at Meydan last week. He finished second Saturday night in the Dubai World Cup.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- California Chrome will ship from Dubai to England this week in a bold bid to carry his Kentucky Derby-winning and Horse of the Year form to the European turf.

The second-place finisher Saturday night in the $10 million Dubai World Cup, California Chrome had been booked on a flight back to the U.S. on Tuesday but will instead fly to England and be based at Newmarket, trainer Art Sherman said. 

Sherman will remain the trainer of record and will travel to saddle the horse when he races, he said, but representatives of the International Racing Bureau will help coordinate and oversee California Chrome’s day-to-day care, Sherman said. Sherman wasn’t certain which races would be targeted, but the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at the Royal Ascot meet in June is one likely target.

The move is a strange one, considering that California Chrome’s only grass win came against modest opposition in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby last December, and appears to expose a rift between majority owner Perry Martin and minority owner Steve Coburn. Coburn animatedly voiced his feeling Saturday night that California Chrome was “America’s horse,” but Martin apparently was won over by a strong push from English racing interests, particularly from Royal Ascot.

The move surprised Sherman, who even after the World Cup still thought California Chrome was headed home.

“I was looking forward to giving him a rest,” Sherman said. “I’m not sure everyone realizes that this is going to be a tired horse. That was a hard race on him.”

Sherman and his crew developed California Chrome from a 2-year-old California-bred of no particular note to the winner of two-thirds of the Triple Crown, which spurred the colt’s Horse of the Year award.

“I feel like I’ve lost a friend,” Sherman said. “I’m going to miss looking down the shed row and seeing the horse in his stall. It’s going to be hard on him, too. He’s been with the same groom, the same people since he was a 2-year-old. I hope it works out for the horse.”

Claire Baker More than 1 year ago
You have obviously never owned a horse. They can hear your car from 1/2 mile away. They whinny the loudest for you. My sister came up to the barn one time before we got there. Our horse wouldn't even enter the stall! So that's a very ignorant comment to make as they truly know and love and prefer their humans. If the care if good as it sounds like it is, he will make friends in England. I saw California Chrome at Harris Ranch. He is incredibly friendly and interested in everyone around him so that is good. He came right up to the fence when I called his name.
Claire Baker More than 1 year ago
God how sad. I hate Perry Martin. It should be the best interests of the horse, but now it's the best interests of lining Perry Martin's wallet. He better pray that his gambling with Chrome's life pays off.
Dale Normanson More than 1 year ago
Dear Perry Martin, America hates you. s/Cal Thoroughbred Lover
Quite a More than 1 year ago
If he couldn't beat that 8 year old in Dubai he has hit his peak. He should have rolled off that second to Shared Belief. I think it's less than 50% that he'll run well at all no mater where he races but from Cali to Dubai to England makes it even harder. And really it doesn't matter if he wins or not. It will not change his stud value if that is the reasoning behind sending him to England. He is by nothing out of nothing and his stud value is limited regardless..
Shawn Britton More than 1 year ago
Well put
Mike DiDesidero More than 1 year ago
Another stupid, greedy owner who has no clue what the hell he's doing. The arrogance offends me. Stick a fork in Chrome. They'll have ruined him in no time.
flash gordon More than 1 year ago
I guess thats it for the Sb,CC rivalry.
Shawn Britton More than 1 year ago
More like a beating. By SB
Tony Zag More than 1 year ago
This says due to a "RIFT" between Steve Colburn and partner Perry Martin look for a SALE of California Chrome, probably to one of the Sheiks in England? Art loses a Champion...... Thats the way DIVORCE is.............And all you non-racetrackers, who got your education on racehorses from Tom Ansell's Racing 101 with no hands-on can watch for yourself the loss of attachment and a happy horse,,,,,happy horses perform well.
Shawn Britton More than 1 year ago
Agree. Tony. I believe horse is a pending sale. Sad
Bill Moore More than 1 year ago
Beating a 3 yo Canadian filly (commendable as Lexi Lou is) on firm ground in CA is a lot different than taking on best older international turf horses on ground with give at Ascot or Newmarket. It's an - um - sporting move given sprint-oriented turf breeding. Unless breeding value driver is taking down a mid-winter stakes on AW at Lingfield.
Shawn Britton More than 1 year ago
True. This will be sad to see
Walter More than 1 year ago
Why do so many people think he will get crushed in England? CC Has shown he is a quality race horse by winning big races at multiple tracks, so he does take his track with him. He has run well traveling around the world. He has shown he can run a long distance. And, finally he has a style they call a "stayer" in Europe. This could work out well. I am not a "Chromie", but I wish him the best of luck. Horseplayers need more horses like CC around, it improves the sport.
Shawn Britton More than 1 year ago
No chance. Betrayal. You will see.
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Alright here people, if any of you really think that CC is going to miss him groom or hotwalker, trainer , exercise rider, owners or , whomever is crazy. Its going to be the other way around. Its humans that get attached to the horse ! CC will be and is already receiving his royal treatment. with a white glove He will adjust to his new surrounding in no time as we will read in probably just a few days after he arrives in Newmarket. The only question to remain to be seen is can and will CC be able to keep his form against the Euro"s best turf horse ? After the break he deserves and hopefully get, I say no problem.. Go gettem California Chrome from 1 of your biggest fans from the East Coast......
Shawn Britton More than 1 year ago
Dead wrong
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
What are you saying that your CC #1 fan, I don't think so Shawn...
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
Many great horses have switched barns and continued to perform well.Some even better.I think barn switches matter more in the claiming game.Furthermore i would think the English trainer will have talk to Art Sherman about some of California Chromes idiosyncrasies.