05/18/2014 9:54AM

California Chrome tired but healthy after Preakness

Justin N. Lane
California Chrome emerged from his victory Saturday in the Preakness tired but otherwise fine, according to his trainer, Art Sherman.

BALTIMORE – California Chrome emerged from his win in the Preakness Stakes tired but otherwise fine, trainer Art Sherman said Sunday morning here at Pimlico, where California Chrome will remain for a few more days before heading to Belmont Park and a bid for a Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes on June 7.

“I’m going to let him unwind,” Sherman said outside the stakes barn. “He’ll go to Belmont on Tuesday or Wednesday.”

Even though California Chrome had run his second tough race in two weeks, when he was taken out of his stall around 7 a.m. Sunday by Alan Sherman, Art’s son and assistant, he aggressively walked the shedrow.

“He’s dragging Alan around there,” Sherman said, marveling.

Sherman said his son would remain with California Chrome daily on the East Coast. Sherman is returning Monday to California to oversee his stable at Los Alamitos. He said he would come to New York about a week before the Belmont and said California Chrome likely would have one work in New York.

“He doesn’t need much. I just want to keep him fresh,” Sherman said. “He came back in two weeks. Now it’s three weeks. I usually don’t like to run until five or six weeks. Now it’s two more major races in five weeks. It’s tough on horses. He’ll get a nice break after the Belmont.”

As of Sunday, it appeared the Belmont field would also include Commanding Curve, Commissioner, Danza, Intense Holiday, Kid Cruz, Ride On Curlin, Samraat, Social Inclusion, Tonalist, and Wicked Strong.

Ride On Curlin, second in the Preakness, will travel to Belmont at the same time as California Chrome.

Sherman, a realist by nature after being on the racetrack for 60 years, has become increasingly confident that California Chrome can become the sport’s 12th Triple Crown winner and the first since Affirmed in 1978.

“There’s going to be a lot of new shooters,” Sherman said, referring to horses like Commanding Curve, Danza, and Wicked Strong, who ran 2-3-4 behind California Chrome in the Kentucky Derby and bypassed the Preakness to point for the Belmont. “But, hey, listen, I’m not worried about it. I think I’ve got the right horse. You just have to keep your fingers crossed, that everything goes well, that he trains well. But I’m really confident. After what I saw yesterday – horses taking runs at him, coming back in two weeks – they better have their running shoes on. I think the mile and a half will be no problem. He gallops two miles at Los Alamitos every morning, and the second time around, he’s stronger than the first time around. To last that long in a race that far takes a horse who can rate, and he’s an easy horse to rate.”

Sherman thought the way California Chrome won the Preakness, fending off multiple challenges while coming back on two weeks’ rest for the first time in his career, might have been his finest performance yet.

“He had to be put in a drive at the half-mile pole. He couldn’t let that other horse take his path away,” Sherman said, referring to Social Inclusion, who moved outside California Chrome entering the far turn. “It was pretty impressive to me, coming back in two weeks. He overcame everything. He showed a lot of courage, this horse.”

California Chrome has now won six straight races, all with jockey Victor Espinoza and all while using a Flair nasal strip, whose use was denied for I’ll Have Another two years ago by Belmont Park stewards when he was scheduled to bid for the Triple Crown before being scratched with a career-ending injury. It is not a state board rule or even a Belmont Park house rule. It’s solely up to the stewards’ discretion.

Sherman said he hoped California Chrome would be able to use the nasal strip.

“That’s a bogus type of thing,” he said when informed about the policy in New York. “All over the country, they let you run with it. Why wouldn’t they in New York?”

Sherman said Perry Martin, who co-owns California Chrome with Steve Coburn, first suggested using the nasal strip. He said Martin might go so far as to withdraw the colt from the Belmont if the policy was still in place.

Lara Martin More than 1 year ago
I hate to burst your bubble, EVERYWHERE I read Art Sherman said he was NOT TIRED AT ALL!!! NOT AT ALL? Now this one publication is saying he is tired??? Are we trying to start another rumor? Go to the Bloodhorse and all the other publications and he is said to be fine as if he never ran.. I seen him walking the shed row and he was pulling and shaking his head being a stud! He was walking head held high... Where in the heck did you get the information that he was tired??? I think people need to get the wax out their ears and stop reporting misinformation!
Lara Martin More than 1 year ago
The ONLY thing Art ever said was that he was AFRAID of running horses in such tough races so quick back... NEVER has he EVER said that horse is tired.
Lara Martin More than 1 year ago
“He’s dragging Alan around there,” Sherman said, marveling. I REST MY CASE~!!!
Lara Martin More than 1 year ago
NO WHERE even in this article was he quoted as the horse was tired.. HOW BOUT CHANGING YOUR MISINFORMING ARTICLE TITLE DRF!?????
priority peeved More than 1 year ago
Why not a "nose job" nasal strip for the California Comet, the unscrupulous NYRA knowingly permits 7-10 "juiced "horses to enter the starting gate DAILY, turning their corrupt 'noggins AWAY from reality of open drug use. Ride on DJ, J-Rod and all the rest of lowlife drug pushers.
Michelle Hatton More than 1 year ago
I will be watching from the grandstand at Belmont........making a special trip from Florida to watch this horse run and he sure can run!!! Sherman is the trainer and he knows what is best for the horse. Can't wait to see you California Chrome!!!
Bob Flumerfelt More than 1 year ago
I like Sherman idea of having 4 weeks between the races. You get more horses in the Preakness from the Derby and not have them resting those 5 weeks for the Belmont.
mary More than 1 year ago
The nasal strip is on the top and outside his nose. There is no medication in it. How does it make him go faster. All the other horses can use it if they want to if they feel it will make their horse go faster. Sherman was correct in saying his he might not run. He has used the strip in his other races why change now. It wasn't that he was hiding something. Everyone saw it in all the other races and said nothing. Why now? Why didn't someone object Saturday?
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
ITS SUPERSTION MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE .the owner suggested it and coincidentally the horse is winning so he does not want to change,but they were never going to scratch.
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
Good choice of words.When a baseball player is hitting lights out,he'll eat the same meals prior to game time .Keep the routine the same.This nasil strip issue is getting way too much attention.It's like the 2 weeks instead of one you wait for the Super Bowl.Talk radio shows run out of things to say..
Satram Parbhudial More than 1 year ago
i honestly still dont think he should be allowed to wear the medicated nasal strip. if that's the case all the belmont horses should wear them ... but it should be banned .. ITS PRETTY OBVIOUS THAT ITS PERFORMANCE ENHANCING . HASN'T LOST SINCE WEARING IT . COINCIDENCE NOPE FISHY YES. BAN THE STRIP.
Patricia Doyle More than 1 year ago
How is it performance enhancing? I would give my horse a lick of honey while in the paddock before a race. Is that performance enhancing?
Steve More than 1 year ago
Same thing as when horses are equipped with blinkers or wear leg bandages - no harm no foul.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
actually blinkers are more performance enhancing in my opinion.i have yet to see a bad horse move up significantly because of nasal strips.and most trainers don't even bother with them even though they are cheap.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
ahahah.really a nasal strip makes a horse run faster.why don't you put one on and see how much better you are.you can buy them at cvs.over the counter. Seriously he was loosing with them too.but then started winning and running better on dirt and the connections being like every horseperson superstitious don't want to change anything.but they would run anyway with out the nasal strip if they had to. as for the others they are free to use it too.
Lara Martin More than 1 year ago
IT IS NOT MEDICATED DUFUS! Its just like the ones you have in the store to open up your nostrils.. Backed with adhesive.. NOT MEDICATED.. SMH!!!!
Joe Dekarski More than 1 year ago
If Social Inclusion gets to Belmont watchout ,he was more impressive to me because how close he was on his bad day,he was covered in sweat ,foam last time he did this his next race beyer was 110.I see tons of value with this one ,Cali is a heck of a horse big bulls eye on him ,and Danza regressed also in derby should also bring Agame to Belmont,gonna be a classic.
Fred More than 1 year ago
Social Inclusion doesn't belong in the Belmont. His owner mentioned the Met mile or the Woody Stephens, which makes a lot more sense. He came up short in the Wood and in the Preakness. He will do well at 7f to 1 1/16 , possibly up to 1 1/8, but no further than that. The horses that should be dangerous are Danza, Wicked Strong, Ride on Curlin, and Tonalist.
Michael Castellano More than 1 year ago
Social Inclusion should have been held out of the Triple Crown races. He's a miler. Certainly not a Belmont Stakes horse.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
too long for him and his mind just is not has strong as the other horses he is a very good horse.but he beats himself before they even run.and there going to be a big loud crowd at Belmont.
Lara Martin More than 1 year ago
Do wat? That horse will be coughing at the far turn.. I cannot believe my eyes? He ran eye to eye with CC and what'd he do, spit out the bit. He was so tired he was weaving around when he did get in the stretch..
Kimberly Hays More than 1 year ago
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
O Kimberly! Are you ready for your winners circle photo op? ;-)
DD PR More than 1 year ago
STOP THE CRYING LITTLE BABY.... you want a candy...Take it like a man. CC is the best 3 y/o horse in a long time.
Joe Dekarski More than 1 year ago
LMao,he s good and lucky that doesn t make him great.
Tyler Mathis More than 1 year ago
People say that about every horse that wins derby/Preakness. Unfortunately, for the past 35+ years they've all managed to lose the Belmont. Hopefully not this time.
Kimberly Hays More than 1 year ago
Andy Dean More than 1 year ago
Oh pleeeze....and archaic Belmont was the last "jurisdiction" to allow the strips. Everywhere else there is no problem. Oh, forgot to mention, they allow the strips in the NY trotters, so go figure.
Gary Peacock More than 1 year ago
Crystal David More than 1 year ago
Then GO AWAY. The sport doesn't need people with your outlook!
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
what difference do you think a patch on you nose makes.a few millions really?. FOCUS ON THE REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF.NASAL STRIPS CAN BE BOUGHT AT WALLGREENS OR CVS.
Gary Goldner More than 1 year ago
Go get a life and don't let the door hit you on the way out!
Steve Rivas More than 1 year ago
Chrome winning the Belmont would be a real sweet moment for everyone watching.