Updated on 08/15/2016 10:48AM

California Chrome relaxed, ready for Pacific Classic

Emily Shields
California Chrome beats Dortmund to win the San Diego Handicap.

CYPRESS, Calif. -- California Chrome will start in Saturday’s $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar in peak form.

California Chrome worked five furlongs in 1:00.20 at trainer Art Sherman’s base at Los Alamitos on Sunday. The workout was California Chrome’s final major exercise before the Grade 1 Pacific Classic.

“It was effortless,” Sherman said.

The workout came before dawn. Typical of his workouts this year, California Chrome was given a dedicated time for his workout, with no other horses on the track.

Ridden by exercise rider Dihigi Gladney, California Chrome was not urged.

Los Alamitos clockers timed California Chrome in 24.80 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 36.80 for three furlongs, and 48.80 seconds for a half-mile. California Chrome ran the final furlong in 11.40 seconds. Sherman timed California Chrome in 1:00.40.

Sunday’s workout was California Chrome’s second since a win in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on July 23. Both works were at Los Alamitos, where Sherman keeps most of his horses on a year-round basis. Sherman said he prefers to keep California Chrome at Los Alamitos, which has less activity during morning workouts than Del Mar.

“It’s so much different than being at Del Mar,” Sherman said. “He’s so relaxed here. I feel better having him work here.”

Sherman said California Chrome has trained with enthusiasm since the San Diego Handicap.

“That race put him on edge,” Sherman said. “He needed it.”

The popular 5-year-old shipped to Del Mar on Monday to continue preparation. California Chrome will have a routine week at Del Mar after his arrival. Sherman plans daily gallops of up to two miles leading to the Pacific Classic, which is run at 1 1/4 miles.

“All we have to do is school him and stand him in the gate,” Sherman said. “He’s going a mile and a quarter and he’s a proven mile and a quarter horse.”

Owned by Perry Martin and Taylor Made Farm, California Chrome has won 13 of 22 starts and has earned $12,652,650. California Chrome is the richest North American-based Thoroughbred in history.

This year, California Chrome is unbeaten in four starts, including a win in the $10 million Dubai World Cup in the United Arab Emirates on March 26. Alan Sherman, Art’s son and assistant, has watched California Chrome on a daily basis at Los Alamitos in recent weeks and said the horse is thriving.

“I think he’s better now that before the World Cup,” Alan Sherman said. “He just gets better with age. He loves his job.”

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