05/10/2014 7:18AM

Chrome report: Splashing through the slop

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Neither rain nor mud nor a slightly altered schedule could keep Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome from his appointed rounds early Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Heavy overnight rain that lasted into the morning hours led assistant trainer Alan Sherman to send California Chrome out for a routine gallop shortly before 6:30 a.m. Eastern, about a half-hour earlier than usual. Under regular exercise rider Willie Delgado, the colt had no mishaps when spending about 15 minutes on a sloppy, sealed racetrack.

“I didn’t want to take any chances of him having to go over a chewed-up track,” said Sherman, who is deputizing here for his father, trainer Art Sherman, before the colt leaves Monday for Baltimore and the second jewel of the Triple Crown, the 139th Preakness on May 17 at Pimlico Race Course. “He’s tolerable of any surface. He went over it just fine. He pretty much takes his racetrack with him.”

Sherman said California Chrome also will gallop Sunday and Monday before being vanned to Lexington, Ky., for an equine charter scheduled to depart around noon Monday. Art Sherman has said the colt will not have a breeze upon resuming training at Pimlico.

California Chrome is expected to be an odds-on favorite among a prospective field of 10 in the Preakness. Last Saturday, the chestnut colt prevailed as a 5-2 favorite to become the first California-bred since 1962 to win the Derby and the only horse to keep alive hope at becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years.

Mike Knox More than 1 year ago
When does this colt not open up 5 turning for home!!!
Lee Thorsgard More than 1 year ago
The Kentucky Derby and now the Preakness field are just slightly above average. Every year the same questions are asked, is there a Triple Crown winner and why wasn't there a Triple Crown winner? From 1919-1978 there are 11 elite horses that won the Triple Crown and every one of those horses has left an indelible mark, not only on the breed, but on the sport. We yearn for another Secretariat, yet secretly hope he never comes. The truth is the modern thoroughbred does not have the stamina and consistent speed to win all three races. Todays 3 year olds must have a minimum of 1 months rest between races and some have only raced 2 or 3 times, ever. It should come as no surprise there has not been a winner since 1978. California Chrome is a nice horse and may out class the other contenders, but that is not saying much. He is not a particularly fast horse and does not have "blazing speed". He could not qualify to run 1 race with War Admiral, Count Fleet, Citation, Seattle Slew, Affirmed and of course the transcendent Secretariat let alone 3. His Derby time 2:03.66 was the slowest since 1974 and on a fast track. Being the best of the worst could give us the Triple Crown winner we long for, unfortunately not one that is worthy of admission in to such an exclusive club.
F More than 1 year ago
Go Chrome!! papajoe el tonto... U'r not a hick, u'r a MAROON, there's only 1 Secretariat. And, they disparaged him as u've done Chrome. I'm glad u'r on the wrong coast. California dreamin!
Craig Miz More than 1 year ago
California Chrome, Triple Crown winner, Breeders Cup classic winner and horse of the year bring on Game On Dude.We are seeing a great horse sit back and enjoy.We will be telling our grandkids about this one. The horse of a year.he will put Los Alamos on the map.
Mother More than 1 year ago
ONE RACE AT A TIME. GO CHROME IN THE PREAKNESS, FORGET THE HATERS. THEY WILL ALWAYS BE HATERS. I KNOW PEOPLE WHO HATE ON OTHER GREATS. IF THE TRIPLE HAPPENS ITS OUR TIME, IF IT DONT WE MOVE ON. BUT ALL THE UNNECESSARY HATE MAKES FOLKS LOOK REAL SILLY.
papajoe el papi More than 1 year ago
I been betting since the 60s & I never seen such a bunch of mediocre 3 year old crop as this one I don't wish CC any bad its disappointing to me that horse like him can win the triple crown he is certaintly no secretariat or seattle slew next they will inbred a donkey with a mare any mare maybe a wild mare & they will run him in the Kentucky Derby what has become of racing we are so desperate to have a triple Crown winner that we will settle for anything hoping for champion they say that records don't mean anything but they do matter because it tells you much about the horse,but what do I know am just a hick from brooklyn
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the breed is going downhill. Races are short so breeders breed for that. Then when they hit the Derby they all get exposed. I remember what you said is the same thing they have been saying now for the past 10 years. I never seen such a bunch of mediocre 3 year old crop
Mother More than 1 year ago
LIGHTEN UP FRANCES! ITS BEEN 36 YEARS .WE WANT A TRIPLE CROWN PROSPECT EVERY YEAR. WE STILL HAVE THE PREAKNESS AND THE BELMONT AND I AM ROOTING FOR CALIFORNIA CHROME. STOP THE HATING, SO, OK! YOU DONT LIKE THE HORSE, BUT WHO CARES WHAT YOU LIKE, YOU HAVE AN OPINION THAT DOES NOT MAKE IT FACTUAL. THE HORSE HAS DESTROYED EVERY FIELD IN THE LAST FIVE RACES. WHAT MORE CAN A HORSE FAN ASK FOR. RIGHT NOW ITS ONE RACE AT A TIME.
William Wiedmann More than 1 year ago
Is this the year? I won't believe it 'til I see it. Don't get your hopes to high. We've cheered on so many only to see something happen. But really the Derby is the tough one to get under your belt. I always thought Afleet Alex would have gotten the triple crown if he just had had a little luck in the derby. He won the Preakness and the Belmont so convincingly. It seems that California Chrome has not had to really push himself to the limit. So that bodes well for him continuing to be happy and moving forward. Good Luck CC.
Peter Sciano More than 1 year ago
Totally agree regarding Afleet Alex. Was within a length in the Derby and then won the Preakness after stumbling badly at the start and nearly losing the rider.
Lawrence MacSelwiney More than 1 year ago
When you have a happy horse, a horse that enjoys training, people, being alive and couple that with athletic ability, you have a dangerous combination and a special horse. Hoping to see history!
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Great post, you nailed CC very succinctly :-)
Gerald More than 1 year ago
Good luck to CC and the team ! One race at a time....just focus on the Preakness don't even think about Belmont.
j More than 1 year ago
In the 2014 San Felipe, CC showed that he can race gate to wire in blazing speed, and in the Santa Anita he run just half length behind Midnight Hawk, because Espinoza let him, showing again that HE IS A FAST HORSE, way faster than any horse in the 2014 crop of 3YO. Sherman is taking all the right steps in the training of CC. Every day CC gallops 2 MILES(Belmont is just 1 1/2), no medications and he eats all his food. Then you compare the competitors, just going once a week for a short workout to check if they still alive, trusting that their "STAMINA" will take them to the distance. Horses are just one more species that need training if they have to go the distance. Looks to me that, whatever are the odds, CC is a sure bet for the Preakness and the Belmont.
a a More than 1 year ago
Everyday he DOES NOT gallop 2 miles. Everyday he DOES NOT HAVE NO MEDICATION. Everyday he DOE NOT EAT ALL HIS FOOD. Go buy your own horse instead of pretending to train someone elses.