05/13/2014 7:40AM

Chrome report: Taking a spin

Barbara D. Livingston
California Chrome and exercise rider Willie Delgado take a quick spin around the Pimlico track on Tuesday.

BALTIMORE – California Chrome had been standing on the Pimlico loam for only a minute or two Tuesday morning when he let out an inordinately long and loud whinny, as if to say, “What is this new place?”

Some 30 minutes later, after the colt had made an uneventful first-ever circuit of the track, assistant trainer Alan Sherman grinned about it.

“That’s him,” said Sherman.

With regular exercise rider Willie Delgado aboard, California Chrome stood in place for several minutes before breaking into a slow, clockwise jog, touring the one-mile Pimlico oval once before being led off by Sherman at the same quarter-pole gap. He then walked back to the stakes barn, with the entire light-training routine taking no more than 20 minutes.

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“I just wanted him to get familiar with the track,” said Sherman, who has been deputizing for his father, trainer Art Sherman, since shortly after California Chrome won the May 3 Kentucky Derby. “I thought about galloping him, but he gets so curious and just stands there and gawks that I thought we’d just get him over it once and bring him on in.”

Not long after the colt returned to the barn, Alan Sherman was on the phone to his father, who was preparing to leave for the airport and was scheduled to arrive in Baltimore later in the day to be on hand for the rest of Preakness week.

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Alan Sherman said the ship from Louisville on Monday was uneventful and California Chrome “didn’t miss an oat last night."

"He’s feeling great," Alan Sherman said. "Everything’s good.”

California Chrome, bred and owned by Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, will be a heavy favorite Saturday in the 139th Preakness. A field of 10 3-year-olds is expected to be entered Wednesday.