Updated on 05/20/2014 3:33PM

Chrome report: California Chrome arrives for Belmont

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Alan Sherman walks California Chrome after his arrival at Belmont Park on Tuesday.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Thirty-six years in the waiting, 12 furlongs to go.

California Chrome, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, arrived at the final stop on his Triple Crown journey Tuesday, when a horse van carrying him and Preakness runner-up Ride On Curlin passed through the gates of Belmont Park shortly before 10:45 a.m.

The van arrived following an approximately 4 1/2-hour trip from Pimlico in Baltimore. The van got stuck in a little rush-hour traffic near the George Washington Bridge before picking up a police escort from the Throgs Neck Bridge.

On a glorious, sun-splashed spring morning, a gaggle of media – including representatives from most, if not all, of New York’s local television stations as well as CNN – were present when the horses arrived. California Chrome, as is his wont, was backed off the ramp before being led by Alan Sherman, the son and assistant of trainer Art Sherman, into Barn 26, where both he and Ride On Curlin will take up residence.

California Chrome took a quick tour of the barn before coming out to graze and take a gander at all the cameras.

Alan Sherman said California Chrome “traveled great” and ate for a good portion of the trip. He said the horse, who has simply walked since the Preakness, apparently has taken the first two races of the Triple Crown in good order.

“He came back just as good, if not better, than he was,” Sherman said. “He was cooled out in about 20 minutes after the Preakness.”

California Chrome will attempt to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. He is the 13th horse since then to capture the first two legs of the Triple Crown. Eleven of those horses lost in the Belmont, and a 12th, I’ll Have Another, failed to make it to the Belmont in 2012.

Sherman said California Chrome was to return to the track Wednesday for a jog. He would then gallop from Thursday through May 30. On May 31, a Saturday, California Chrome will breeze four furlongs over Belmont’s main track before jogging and galloping into the race.

“Hopefully, everything goes forward in his training; I don’t look for any setbacks,” Sherman said. “These races are tough on these young horses. You can’t overtrain; you got to keep them fresh, keep them feeling good. He’s so easy and nice on the track, he doesn’t put a ton into his training. The first mile, he’s really good, then he starts grabbing the bridle the last five-eighths of a mile. As long as he stays fresh and happy and eating good, he should be fine.”

For Sherman, 45, this is his first visit to New York. He said he looks forward to visiting New York City and throwing out the first pitch at a New York Yankees game, which is expected to occur June 1 or 2.

Sherman said California Chrome has taken him and his dad on “an unbelievable ride” during this Triple Crown run, which he called “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

“It’s the first time we’ve ever had a horse in these types of races,” Sherman said. “It means a whole lot. I’m just so proud of my dad. For him to be able to do this toward the end of his career, he’s very deserving.”

There are at least eight horses expected to challenge California Chrome – Commanding Curve, Commissioner, Intense Holiday, Kid Cruz, Ride On Curlin, Samraat, Tonalist, and Wicked Strong – with Ring Weekend and Social Inclusion possible.

On Tuesday, trainer John Sadler said Candy Boy was “under consideration” for the Belmont. Candy Boy finished a troubled 13th in the Derby and has been training at Santa Anita since then.

Asked who he felt California Chrome’s toughest opponent will be, Sherman said, “Ride On Curlin. I just think he’s the second-best horse in the race.”
Ride On Curlin, beaten 1 1/2 lengths by California Chrome in the Preakness, was accompanied on the ride by assistant trainer Bridget Lambert.

Trainer Bill Gowan said from Kentucky that Lambert told him Ride On Curlin shipped in “perfect.” Gowan said Ride On Curlin would return to the track Wednesday to jog.

Ricardo Hernadez More than 1 year ago
VITALE you are right . The horse who run more was Curve . I told my friends "the next time Curve run he going to winn " Bellive me you going to see
Charles Vitale More than 1 year ago
Now that my pick of Danza is out, my second pick will win this race even easier. COMMANDING CURVE will win this race by 5 Lengths. After running my computer program from the Derby - Curve coming from post 16 would have won this race coming from any post under 7 by 3 lengths. So how can he (Curve) now win by 5 lengths if they come out of a side by side post? Rest – This is manly why there hasn’t been a Triple Crown winner with a chance in the last 12 years (2 out of 3). Many of you know me by the name of Charliedogs. I have picked more Belmont winners using this program system. Here are the spilt times for Commanding Curve from the Derby. 25.3 – 22.3 – 24.3 – 24.2 – 26.2 – take a look at this second fraction (22.3) and he finished 2nd! Chrome ran 24.1 – this was a 10 length lead he had on Commanding Curve until 6F. Curve close that down to 5 lengths at the 1m. by now most horse had tired and he was getting bounds around in the stretch as where Chrome was clear. This will not happen in the Belmont, the field will be half to less the size of the Derby, leaving Curve to sit right behind him at the 1/8 pole only to take the lead and draw away on a tired Chrome.
Scott More than 1 year ago
Is it true Tonalist only carried 117 lbs. in the PP?
Gary Peacock More than 1 year ago
Very deserving indeed, Alan. Blessings upon you and yours.
Daniel DiLucia More than 1 year ago
Dale Normanson More than 1 year ago
A horse not even entered in the race winning The Belmont Stakes? Yeah- I'd say that would classify as an upset.
G More than 1 year ago
Upset because Danza is out?
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
Allan Gauthier More than 1 year ago
He has to be tired?? How can you be sure??
Gary Peacock More than 1 year ago
Keep thinking...don't sleep.
John More than 1 year ago
In the race prior to the Santa Anita Derby, not sure what they have named it now, but he broke like a shot, and Victor just let him go on and at a solid pace, drew off and won in hand. One of the comments below was CC wins wire to wire..............................I think that is quite possible if the other speeds take back........................................this race is a jockeys race, the timing of the move is so important, too soon and you get swallowed late . Go back and watch the last 100 yards of Commader Cloud, its like he had a switch go on, closing for 2nd like that ! Ill play that exacta back CC & CC..................................good luck everyone. And hey, thanks all you New York and east coast players for being so decent with our California hobo, it would be nice to see another Tripe Crown winner, no matter where he foaled !
Andy Dean More than 1 year ago
Danza getting scratched is sad b/c I want everybody out there to shoot their best shot against him when they still get shown his hind end. CC is becoming an Iron horse. His fundamental soundness and seminal foundation are what I believe is the key to his 6 straight victories. That and Art's old school approach. They deserve each other!! He has become consistent like none of his competitors. I just checked his TE number at chef de race dot com, and it averages 108.6 for his last 5 races beginning with the Cal Cup derby. At least a point higher than the others. You gotta be kidding me! He doesn't know what bounce is. Amazing specimen. And that is a tribute to luck, great DNA and knowing what to do with talent which is Art Sherman's training technique. Let's hear it for old school.
Charles Vitale More than 1 year ago
Chrome bottom bloodline is poor, mom was a had a 68 speed rating and won 7K. Curve mom had a 101 and won 78K. This will show in the Belmont. read my post above.
Christopher Lo More than 1 year ago
Danza is NOT in Belmont.
Beenthere Donethat More than 1 year ago
GO California Chrome GO!!! As the owners said, this is America's Horse and for that we are all proud. Everyone I talked to here in NJ is all for him, even outsiders to racing. Heck, even my doctor was talking about him at my appointment today. I haven't seen it like this since Smarty.