03/24/2015 1:26PM

Meydan: California Chrome breezes easily

Mathea Kelley/Dubai Racing Club
California Chrome, with Dana Barnes up, breezes about a half-mile Tuesday at Meydan in preparation for the Dubai World Cup.

California Chrome very early Tuesday morning had his final work for the $10 million Dubai World Cup and his first-ever work for exercise rider Dana Barnes.

Barnes, the longtime major work rider for trainer Bob Baffert, is in Dubai overseeing the Baffert-trained candidate for the Golden Shaheen, Secret Circle. It was Victor Espinoza, California Chrome’s jockey, who proposed that Barnes work the horse when he breezed this week at Meydan. Willie Delgado, California Chrome’s regular exercise rider, handled regular gallops, not workouts, and Espinoza – an old acquaintance of Barnes – wasn’t planning on traveling to Dubai far enough in advance of the World Cup to be here for the breeze.

“Victor was at our barn to work American Pharoah before the Rebel, and he said, ‘Oh, you’re going to be over there! You can work him,’ ” Barnes said.

That was fine with Art Sherman, California Chrome’s trainer, who took the longest plane trip in his 78 years, arriving Monday from California in time to see California Chrome’s breeze, an easy 800 meters, about a half-mile, just past 5 a.m., long before sunrise. There are no official workout times given at Meydan, but California Chrome worked in about 50 seconds, according to observers in the grandstand, coming home quickly after starting at a moderate clip.

Barnes, at least, was impressed.

“Wow, he’s a freak of nature,” she said while slowly riding California Chrome back to the international stables, a trek of nearly a mile down a horse path.

:: DUBAI WORLD CUP: Get PPs, watch Saturday’s Meydan card live

California Chrome, the reigning Horse of the Year, was a bit slow to warm up, Barnes said, but came alive once Barnes let him work. She said the colt comfortably handled the sand-based Meydan main track that was installed following the 2014 World Cup, the last of five contested on the synthetic Tapeta surface.

“I don’t think we’d have come if the track here still were Tapeta,” Sherman said later Tuesday.

Sherman hesitated at first to commit California Chrome to the World Cup, but the colt’s owners, Perry Martin and Steve Coburn, wanted to make the trip, and Sherman relented. California Chrome traveled here a week ago with Sherman’s son and assistant, Alan, and Sherman said he was relieved to arrive and find California Chrome happy and healthy.

“He’s holding his weight real good. He just dives into his feed tub,” Sherman said.

California Chrome now is expected to face eight foes in the World Cup, contested around two turns at about 1 1/4 miles with a scheduled post time of 1 p.m. Eastern on Saturday. Ron the Greek, who had a chance to be a major player with the World Cup back on dirt, was withdrawn from consideration by his Saudi Arabian connections Monday due to an injury. The World Cup, which was to be drawn Wednesday, will include African Story, Candy Boy, Epiphaneia, Hokko Tarumae, Lea, Long River, Prince Bishop, and Side Glance.

Lea, the other American to ship last week for the race, galloped Tuesday morning and was expected to blow out during his morning training Wednesday, with trainer Bill Mott in attendance.

Herman Tanner More than 1 year ago
Go California Chrome
Ann Maree More than 1 year ago
Read a write-up about how the track is playing, and according to some statistics, 75% of the route races are won by horses running up close to the front or one or two spots off the front runners.. It does not play well for closers. This should suit Chrome just fine, I would think. Dana seemed to think he did fine on the track, and Victor will likely have him placed up close to the front, like in the Derby and Preakness. Gate position should not be a big problem with just 9 horses. timing is good for him as far as his recent races are concerned. He should blow the doors off. Hope so, anyway.
Roger Wiskavitch More than 1 year ago
I do not believe he will best the field by many lengths............thus far his last quarters have been just "ho him".
tommy More than 1 year ago
I will bet trifecta box - prince bishop, African story, California chrome, hokko tarumae
mike More than 1 year ago
If he prevails the same trolls saying he didn't have a shot,will use the spin "he didn't beat much".
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
Mike, we get it....you love CC. When I told you he wouldn't win the Belmont....all you did was complain. When I told you he wouldn't win the BC Classic you called me names. When I told you SB would beat him in the San Antonio you cried that I was crazy. Now, I'm saying he will run VERY GOOD in Dubai....but, I truly don't think he will win....and ...you....being wrong again.....call us trolls. Your name calling is childish. No one that I've seen has ever said CC doesn't have a shot. Of course he has a shot. I'm ROOTING for him and Lea.....of course. We talk horse racing on here is all......I just don't think he is good enough to win this race. If I'm wrong , then I'll be wrong. But, guess what.....I said he would win the Kentucky Derby...and I said he'd win the Preakness....I just knew he couldn't win the Belmont.....and I said he ran really good that day. Because some of us don't think he'll win...does NOT mean we are trolls. Just talking horse racing. And just so you know, I'm correct way more often than not. So.....GO CC.....GO LEA......GO U.S.A. Please know, I do respect you and I do read your posts. I'm happy you are a CC fan. But, please stop calling folks names. We get it....you love CC.
tommy More than 1 year ago
I don't know about he breeders cup because toast of new yorks foot crosses over the line before Bayern, and after the wire, California chrome is the winner!! It should have gone as a 3 way dead heat!! Aside from that, California chrome doesn't have to win for us to collect money on Saturday!! Yes California chrome is the best American dirt horse and he should be wearing the United States flag since he will be representing the nation!! If California chrome wins in Dubai, he will get horse of the years honors based on earnings alone all with earnings per start which gave California chrome a huge edge over Bayern!! It will be hard for shared belief to get $ 10 million dollars to beat California chrome for horse of the years honors !! All I care about is that I hit the trifecta with long shots , so go hokko tarumae, prince bishop !!! I will also have African story and California boxed in trifecta as well !! Lea has no shot in trifecta. Please sAve your money because I think your a good person!!!!!!
mike More than 1 year ago
Frank,are you on something? First,if you wanna put yourself on the back regarding what you told me,let me remind you I stated the next day after he lost the Classic,he would prevail for HOTY. You thought otherwise telling me MS would win it. I knew MS had NO SHOT to win. You aren't the only one that picked to win Derby/Preakness. I did as well. If you have doubt,check out my comments from last year on BH. You always bring this horse down being neg just the other day you posted Lea,among others will best him. Regarding your comment, about you never seen ANYONE that doesn't give him a shot,does the name Marc Rogola jar your memory? As well as that Vince character. In fact,Marc just had a ton of comments deleted from HRN yesterday regarding his usual blasting of this horse and connections,same tune he sang he the other week on the Chrome threads. His tired comments is Chrome "won't hit the board", and "he's done",etc etc. His comments say exactly what I'm telling you with his bush league remarks. You wouldn't wouldn't earn a dime as a lawyer,cause your spin control is terrible. So much for your theory about no one NOT giving him a chance.
mike More than 1 year ago
Intended on saying, pat yourself on the back
mike More than 1 year ago
And.... I stand by my remarks some are trolls,blasting horse and connections without mercy.
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
Mike, I appreciate your response. I do like the banter...and I do respect you. Since you want to be accurate in your memory of what I said or didn't say....I DID AGREE after the BC Classic that CC would win HOY. My upset at the time was I didn't think he deserved it. I still don't think he deserved. But, if you remember correctly, even I knew he was going to win HOY. THAT....if you remember correctly was my upset. You telling me he'd win HOY didn't change that...heck everyone knew he would win.
mike More than 1 year ago
Absurd! Many and I mean many stated BAYERN WOULD WIN HOTY. The comments were made here,HRN,BH. Noticed you didn't respond to my comments regarding Marc Rogola.
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
Don't know much about Marc. Nothing to comment on really. I know he doesn't think CC has a chance in this upcoming race. That's his opinion. Thankfully folks differ on opinions. Heck if we didn't, we'd never get good odds.
Tim Sr. More than 1 year ago
God it must be tough to be right ALL the time Frank, or is it Tommy Jr.
mike More than 1 year ago
So you caught that also?
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
I've never said I was right all the time Tim. I've been at this game my entire life. It took me literally 4 decades of mostly losing to finally figure out how to be a consistent winning player, so even I admit I've only been a winning player the last decade. But, I can tell you this, I am not right all the time, but I am right enough to have a consistent positive ROI. As for Tommy Jr., I may have no idea what you are even talking about, however, I will say I do have a great friend who is a Tommy Jr. and he is a horse player. If you are comparing me to him, I take that as a complement, as he is one of the greatest human beings on this planet. And, no....I'm not Tommy Jr.
mike More than 1 year ago
Frank,point is you stated no one discounted Chrome regarding Dubai. I made the point regarding Marc.
Beverly Bonneau More than 1 year ago
Frank......he happens to be our favorite a lot of us vote for. You vote for whoever you want. We won't knock your decision. and......YOU TOLD US......like you're GOD and we should follow your instructions or something? I'm scratching my head here trying to figure out why you comment at all. LOL I hope all our USA horses do good. Was a long trip for them with hot humidity to adjust to. All horse are doing fine and can only do their best. Maybe just GOD knows the outcome of all six races. haha CC will do fine. Win or lose he loves the challenge of a race.....like most TB's.
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
What hot and humid? The high will be 82 there on Saturday. By the time of the race it'll be about 70 and night.
Beverly Bonneau More than 1 year ago
YUP, that's their old saying. "he didn't beat much". LOL I kind of look for it after every race! They're a riot. ;)
mike More than 1 year ago
Beverly,he always says he likes Chrome,funny when most of his are some sort of slam.
mike More than 1 year ago
Yes and the uninspiring trolls that knock Chrome/connections don't have a horse like him and never will.
Jim Fields More than 1 year ago
Beverly Bonneau More than 1 year ago
They're running in that race for themselves. FOR the win. And of course to have a winner you have to race against them ALL. Not just one. ???? HELLO......anybody home up there in your head. LOL They race against ALL of them in the race. IMHO So now we have a FEW who made this a MATCH against just TWO. LOL You're a riot. NO, that rumor isn't true. They're racing for themselves against many really good horses that went for the win. And to endure that 19hr flight, 48hrs of Quarantine, they ALL get my applause for having the stamina TO go to Dubai.
Lori Ochs More than 1 year ago
HELLO...Was that reply really necessary? Why do some people feel the need to be so nasty?
Curtis Clark More than 1 year ago
REALLY, That's what running in the Dubai World Cup for 10 Million watered down work out For Chrome, much like the Santa Anita Handicap for Shared Belief...
Beverly Bonneau More than 1 year ago
ALL the horses that went to Dubai were in shape BEFORE the shipped. After they adjust to the long flight and hot temps and humidity they stretch their legs is all they have to do and get used to the track. A good breeze. Check out and feel the place. They're all in top form when they get there and have to ADJUST/ rehydrate from the 19hr flight. AND over there ALL horses are in quarantine 48hrs before they can use the track......which the track is a half hour walk TO it and half hour walk back in high humidity. Hitting the track before the sun comes up is a good idea. . I'd say all these horses who went to Try for it in Dubai......are top athletes to begin with to hack it. They sure aren't in Kansas anymore ToTo. We were thrilled CC got off the plane bucking and playing and shipped just fine . I hope ALL horses in all six races have a safe race. They're all awesome just for being there.
Marc Estrich More than 1 year ago
Dana has been on too many great horses to name. With her and her hubby Jimmy takin the hosses to AK, NM and other spots Bob has 2 top hands!!! If Dana was impressed by CC, that's good enuff fer me!!!
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
Beverly Bonneau More than 1 year ago
She had a nice smile on her face after her breeze on Chrome. Said he's a freak! :)