05/07/2014 9:53AM

Chrome Report: California Chrome jogs at Churchill

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Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
California Chrome jogged at Churchill Downs on Wednesday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Four days after winning the 140th Kentucky Derby, California Chrome finally took a victory lap around Churchill Downs.

With exercise rider Willie Delgado aboard Wednesday, the chestnut colt never got out of a slow jog when going once around the one-mile oval clockwise. It was his first trip back to the track where he became the first California-bred since 1962 to win the Derby and the only horse to keep alive hope of becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years.

“He was on the bit and happy,” said Alan Sherman, who is deputizing here for his father, trainer Art Sherman, before the colt leaves for Baltimore and the second jewel of the Triple Crown, the 139th Preakness on May 17 at Pimlico Race Course. “He wanted to train. He was tired of walking.”

Sherman said the daily routine would be notched up to galloping Thursday as California Chrome eases back into a slightly more vigorous regimen. His father, back home in California tending to his stable at Los Alamitos, has said he does not intend to have the colt breeze before the Preakness, either here or at Pimlico.

Art Sherman has said he wants to ship the colt to Maryland earlier than the Wednesday before the race, which has become a traditional time slot for Derby horses holding over at Churchill. A flight has been tentatively scheduled for Monday to transport California Chrome and other horses, but there are maintenance-scheduling issues that could preclude that flight from happening, according to Buddy Fife, the local booking agent for the Tex Sutton equine charter service. The company’s online schedule currently lists a Wednesday flight from Louisville International Airport to Baltimore-Washington International, but not one for Monday.

“If we can’t go until Wednesday, then that’s what we’ll have to do,” said Alan Sherman.

Delgado, a former jockey and trainer, has deep Maryland roots, having spent most of his life there. He said he is looking forward to receiving a hero’s welcome as an integral part of the Derby-winning team.

“My daughter’s there, so I’m looking forward to seeing her,” he said.

::2014 PREAKNESS STAKES: Latest news, video, and more

Delgado clearly has a close rapport with California Chrome, and they were very much in sync throughout their 15 or so minutes on the track together Wednesday. Delgado then held the colt’s shank as he was bathed in sunlight outside Barn 20 on the Churchill backstretch, then helped cool out the colt on a shed row otherwise occupied by the Tom Proctor stable.

“He didn’t miss a beat,” Delgado said. “He’s back to himself, went really, really good. I don’t think the race took much out of him at all.”

Under Victor Espinoza, California Chrome, bred and owned by Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, was a dominant winner of the Derby on Saturday. Always in a comfortable striking position, the colt bounded to the lead after straightening for home, opened a big lead, then was easily safe of a belated run from Commanding Curve when finishing 1 3/4 lengths in front.

California Chrome is one of 10 prospects for the Preakness; five of the others also are training at Churchill until the planes depart. One of those, the filly Ria Antonia, will breeze Monday, with a firm decision to be made afterward on whether she will be sent to Maryland, according to new trainer Tom Amoss.

In other Preakness doings:

** From Maryland, Pimlico oddsmaker Keith Feustle said he expects to make California Chrome “in the 3-5 range” on his Preakness line.

“He’d have to be somewhere around there, maybe a touch lower,” he said. “Deciding on the second, third, and fourth choices might be a little tougher.”

This will be the first Preakness as oddsmaker for Feustle, who replaced the retired Frank Carulli. Feustle has been part of the Pimlico chart-calling crew for Equibase since 1993.

Tom P More than 1 year ago
I never saw a 1 1/2 length winner of the Derby get so much hype and 3 to 5-you gotta be kidding !! He waltzed home in the KD in 2:03 and change and all of a sudden he's Secretariat.Do I like this horse ? Yes I do.Would I like to see him win the Preakness ? Sure I would.Do I think he's a cakewalk in the Preakness ? You bet I don't.I think he can win but it won't be easy.My guess is that Ride on Curlin and General A Rod will also be there at the end,than the Belmont with it's 1 1/2 mile distance,different horses,different strategies.Ask the connections of Alysheba,Real Quiet,Our Emblem,Smarty Jones,and others who won the 1st two TC races only to be denied the 3rd.Or how about the great Riva Ridge,Thunder Gulch,etc who lost the middle jewel but won the other two.This is a difficult feat,something that hasn't happened in 36 years.My guess is it won't happen this year either,though if he wins the Preakness and gets a nice day for the Belmont,they'll be 100,000 plus waiting to see him try at that great facility.Good Luck C.C.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
For all the talk about the draw and the trip and all the other factors in the derby. Its probably the most form full race year after year. Can any one argue that CALIFORNIA CHROME was not the fastest most qualified horse coming in. or that ORB was not the most likely winner last year even if he did tail off afterwards. ILL HAVE ANOTHER was a huge bargain at 15/1 more because of the jockey I think he had won the santa anita derby like a champ and proved in the Preakness that he was the top 3 yo of that crop.SEATTTLE SLEW and SECRETARIAT and SPECTACULAR BID certainly were the best of their crop as were SMARTY JONES and BIG BROWN .most of the surprising recent results have come on sloppy tracks MINE THAT BIRD, SUPER SAVER . But on a fast track its probably the most form full GR1 out there.
Clive Weidle More than 1 year ago
Chrome will be all alone at the wire X2.. take that to the bank !!
Matt Banchero More than 1 year ago
California Chrome basically whipped it out and started peeing on everyone else in the stretch.....then after he was finished he slowed down and moonwalked across the finishline
Geronimo2123 . More than 1 year ago
Shhh! There are many here who thinks the horse was going to get run down if any of the horses behind him got a better trip. Don't state the obvious. Let them take their shots until they are convinced he is an easy bet against in the Preakness.
Raymond Felder More than 1 year ago
some time ago i knew california chrome was the real thing. if he wins the preakness, the belmont will be a piece of cake. bayern, dynamic impact, and social inclusion are going to be hard to deal with, but this race will be the real test for chrome, iam keeping my fingers crossed, because i would like chrome to go all the way, good luck all.
Lenny Mamola More than 1 year ago
Don't enter the Filly..you will just ruin her
Honnimae More than 1 year ago
they tried to Charge 500 for Handicap parking.. ask Ron Turrcotte
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Uh Oh, moderations on??
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Are you serious?? I know Ron T was upset about the accommodations, but CDI management said it was a "breakdown" in communications. That stinks!!
brumount More than 1 year ago
Did Ron Turcotte tweet his displeasure or was it reported by a journalist? I am curious whether it was the former that got the news spread about.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
It was reported and they were Mr Turcottes words, "He didn't have access to parking, and admittance was difficult for some events, and he was saddened because he felt that his HoF pin didn't mean a thing to those in charge" It was a terrible story bordering on disgraceful. Could you imagine denying Mr Turcotte to ANY Ky Festivities? *The pin is like a free admission pass, as he is truly an Ambassador to the sport we all love so much. I'd have to go back, because I didn't bookmark it, but I think it originated with a Tweet from Ron... It's a crying out loud shame, Bru :(
Honnimae More than 1 year ago
Boy those KY boys are really trying to F this Connection up Booing with the Post Draw and Now making it difficult to ship out.... Karma is a Bi (#_
hialeah More than 1 year ago
Smarty Jones ended up 7-10 after running a slower "Final Time in the Derby" then CaliChro. Maybe the trick will be; figure out who this years Rock Hard Ten will be?
Blaine MacMillan More than 1 year ago
The 2004 Kentucky Derby was run on a SLOPPY track....
Geronimo2123 . More than 1 year ago
A sloppy yet sealed track. And your point is? This year's Derby was run on a very dry track and a strong head wind (twice).
Union_Rags More than 1 year ago
3-5 or lower, seems a little low.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
3-5 seems a little high, if anything..
Scott More than 1 year ago
3 To 5 is a decent morning line, but when the dust settles he will be lower I think. I think 1 to 5 might happen. As it stands right now, there are only 2 others Derby runners under consideration for this race and one has a big "if" attached. I might cover Danza if he runs and looks great in the parade, but he was well back of CC in the Derby even with a better trip, I don't think he was going to get past CC. If he looks better in the parade, then he is probably the best bet to beat CC. Ride On Curlin had a nightmare trip in the Derby, but I didn't love his chances going in even with a better post. I came away more impressed with him, but just don't think he's as good as CC. None of the new shooters make me think they are the next Bernardini. Bayern seems short of the distance as does Social Inclusion and both seem like the need the lead types who will burn each other out and open an easy door for CC to stride through. Note: Both these horses couldn't make the Derby field on their talent. Social Inclusion couldn't beat Samraat and Bayern was well up the track against Danza. They aren't world beaters IMO.
Blaine MacMillan More than 1 year ago
Seems perfect. He hasn't had a close race since last fall, restricted or open company.