05/16/2014 8:16AM

Chrome report: Sloppy trip to the track Friday a.m.

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BALTIMORE – California Chrome, the Kentucky Derby winner, had a routine gallop of two miles on Friday morning at Pimlico during conditions that were anything but routine, a heavy downpour that left the track sloppy and forced the afternoon’s grass races to be moved to the main track.

Fortunately, the storm was predicted to be fast-moving, was expected to be gone by late Friday, and thus should result in a fast track by post time Saturday afternoon for the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown.

“He seemed to handle the track perfect,” said Art Sherman, who trains California Chrome. “Wind at 25 miles an hour; he’s not used to that. But he went through the mud like, ‘Hey, I can do it.’ I was curious as to how he’d do it. I think he’d be a good mud horse myself.”

The California Chrome camp was relaxed and jovial, a day after they revealed that California Chrome was being treated for a very small blister in his throat.

“I’m not worried. I think they’ve got to worry about me, to be honest,” Sherman said. “My horse will run his race. If he gets outrun, he gets outrun. But they better have their running shoes on.”

Alan Sherman, Art’s son and top assistant, on Friday morning said California Chrome “is fine, his throat is fine.”

“He had a little tickle, a cough, but it’s not a problem,” Alan Sherman said. “I don’t know why it got blown out of proportion. He’s in perfect shape.”

Art Sherman said the blister could have been irritation from feed. “Maybe a little kernel lodged in his throat, Sherman said. "But his appetite is good. Maybe he likes the crab cakes.”

California Chrome’s temperature remains normal, and blood work taken as precaution showed no infection, according to Alan Sherman, who said California Chrome is being treated with a glycerin wash that coats the throat.

“He coughed one time today,” Art Sherman said. “We’re in the clear.”

Art Sherman said his biggest worry in regard to the Preakness is coming back just two weeks after the Derby.

“Two weeks is two weeks. We’ve never done that since we’ve had him,” he said.

Asked how he’d relax Friday night, Sherman said, “I might have a cocktail or two.”

As for Saturday morning, Sherman said California Chrome would jog one mile, as Sherman does with all his horses on race day.

“I like to repeat the pattern so they don’t worry,” he said.

By race time, Sherman said he’ll only get nervous once the horses go in the gate.

“When you run a 3-5 shot, there’s a lot more pressure, but I think we can handle it,” he said.

 

Ian Douglas More than 1 year ago
I wish everyone would get off their knees begging for a triple crown. It will happen one day when everything falls into place and by a horse that's worthy of accomplishing the feat.
Judy Maass Gadwood More than 1 year ago
I don't think Team Sherman is going to allow Junior to race if he's not 100% fit. I just pray to the racing gods they give us a fans a Triple Crown this year. We are so over due and with all the negative publicity we need some upbeat news!
Robert Settle More than 1 year ago
I want a safe, sound, and healthy horse entering that gate Saturday. I have all the faith in the world that Mr. Sherman has Californa Chrome up to the challenge at hand. Its the Belmont I'm more worried about. The boys in New York know how to knock off a Triple Crown horse. I wish everyone involved with Chrome and all the others in that starting gate tomorrow for the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes Race. My God smile on all of you!
Judy Maass Gadwood More than 1 year ago
May the racing gods give us a Triple Crown - we need some "good" news in this sport!
Chuck Seddio More than 1 year ago
yeah they are not worried bout the cough, i would, everything has to go right, he is no mortal lock,ive seen this act before.
Greg More than 1 year ago
Speed outside going to be tough going early.
Mike Knox More than 1 year ago
CC/ALL/Social Inc and Ride on Curlin in the show box...... TRI 3/*/8,10 Good Luck!
John Lione More than 1 year ago
IMO, CC will win this race easy. The true race is for 2nd place.. Just sucks that the odds will be sooooo low...
Michael More than 1 year ago
Chrome will be the new Gold come Saturday evening! IMO, SI is the main threat and if he can duplicate that GP effort, Hmmmmmmm. But if he spits the bit out when the real running starts, well then CC will do what Wicked Strong did to SI in the Wood and we all know what CC did to WS in the KYD!...CC wins geared down by 4, under wraps, again by Victor!!!...Leave no excuses camp Sherman :-) Safe and clean trip to all...
Ann More than 1 year ago
Michael, in his GP effort, he got a 24&1 first quarter and 47&2 half, already leading by daylight - walking the dog on a front-runner-favoring surface. He won't get away with that in this race, even though most of the "on-the-pace" horses aren't true speed-burners, either.