11/12/2014 12:07PM

California Chrome likely to run in Hollywood Derby

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Tom Keyser
California Chrome most recently finished third in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Hold off for now on that balloting for Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male. California Chrome is scheduled to race one more time this year.

California Chrome, the winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness and third most recently in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, is scheduled to make his first start on turf here in the Grade 1, $300,000 Hollywood Derby on Nov. 29, trainer Art Sherman said Wednesday.

“He came out of the Breeders’ Cup great,” Sherman said at Del Mar. “I’m going to work him on the grass here on the 23rd, and if he handles it like I think he will, there’s a good chance he’ll run.”

Sherman has been desirous of trying California Chrome – a son of Lucky Pulpit – on grass and thought that would not come until his 4-year-old year. But Sherman said the way California Chrome came out of the Classic on Nov. 1 gives him the confidence to come back at the end of this month for another start.

“It’s a perfect time to find out if he likes it. And if he does, it gives us many more options for next year,” Sherman said. “The way he travels, I think he’ll really like it. I think he’ll be a grass horse, too.

“He came out of the race really super. I went and saw him at Los Alamitos yesterday, and he was bucking and playing. I wouldn’t do this if he wasn’t up to it. And maybe it’ll help him for Horse of the Year.”

Sherman said the initial main goal for the first part of 2015 remains the Dubai World Cup. He said regardless of the outcome of the Hollywood Derby, his plan is to run California Chrome once at Santa Anita during the winter meeting as a prep for the World Cup, which is March 28.

The Hollywood Derby is at 1 1/8 miles. It had been run at 1 1/4 miles at Hollywood Park, but the configuration of Del Mar’s turf course does not allow for 10-furlong races on turf.