01/25/2014 9:49PM

Santa Anita: California Chrome enters Kentucky Derby picture with big Cal Cup Derby win

Benoit & Associates
California Chrome is expected to get a shot at the road to the Kentucky Derby after winning the California Cup Derby by 5 1/2 lengths.

ARCADIA, Calif. – California Chrome proved himself best of the statebreds on Saturday at Santa Anita with an overpowering victory in the $250,000 California Cup Derby, a performance that his trainer, Art Sherman, thought was in him, and which will earn California Chrome a shot to prove himself worth of getting to another Derby, the one in Kentucky on May 3.

“He had been training like a bomb,” Sherman said after California Chrome rolled to a 5 1/2-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds. Tamarando, winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity last summer, rallied for second, 3 1/4 lengths in front of third-place Life Is a Joy.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Awesome Return was fourth and was followed, in order, by Better Bet, Public Policy, and Lucky Views.

Three horses did not finish the race. Aotearoa was eased on the far turn. And then in the stretch, Electric Eddie, while racing in fifth place, broke down, and, unable to run straight because of his injuries, veered into the path of Oh Billy Billy, who ran into him.

Martin Garcia, riding Oh Billy Billy, and Mario Gutierrez, on Electric Eddie, both were dislodged. Neither rider appeared injured, nor did Oh Billy Billy.

Electric Eddie, however, suffered a serious injury to his left front leg. He was taken back to the barn of trainer Ben Cecil for X-rays. As of 5:30 p.m. Pacific on Saturday, he was still alive.

California Chrome was winning for the fourth time in eight starts. This was the second straight race in which he clobbered his opposition. He won the seven-furlong King Glorious at Hollywood Park on Dec. 22 by 6 1/4 lengths when ridden for the first time by Victor Espinoza, who was back aboard Saturday.

“It’s like the light bulb has gone on,” said Sherman, who said the addition of Lasix and blinkers has contributed to California Chrome’s improvement. He is 3 for 5 with both Lasix and blinkers.

“I didn’t want to throw all that at him at once,” Sherman said. “We didn’t rush him. He’s learned how to rate himself.”

California Chrome got a perfect trip on Saturday. He sat third behind Better Bet and Life Is a Joy before making an eye-catching move into the lane that catapulted him to the front.

Sherman said California Chrome would make his next start in the Grade 2, $300,000 San Felipe Stakes on March 8. That 1 1/16-mile race is the last major prep for the Grade 1, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 5. Sherman said California Chrome was nominated to the Triple Crown. Those nominations closed Saturday.

California Chrome, a chestnut-colored colt by Lucky Pulpit out of the Not for Love mare Love the Chase, was bred and is owned by Steve Coburn and Perry Martin.








John Murray More than 1 year ago
1;43;1 for 1 1/16th, nice win The breakdown hurts to watch, right again in front of the stands, glad to see no further injuries to horses and riders involved.
Cover2 More than 1 year ago
A Cal bred in desparate need of a graded win ? LOL Seems like go route of Papa Clem, get a part around here, then maybe a threat for Ark Derby...Yum Brands ??
Lawrence Vaccarelli More than 1 year ago
boy you look bad.
jaybern1 More than 1 year ago
Very slow race. Looks like the best 3 year olds are in the east.
Eric Singer More than 1 year ago
Have no idea if he can get longer distances, and although his last two races came against less than spectacular competition - they were both visually impressive. In both races he left the other horses at the top of the stretch like a group of cheap claimers. His acceleration on the turn and his ability to relax early have been noteworthy. Who knows what lies ahead; he's a nice horse right now.
Aaron Wilson More than 1 year ago
Yes this drf plus stuff is unfortunate. California Chrome should be considered a Derby contender, along with the hundreds of others out there. He just won by 5 lengths on DIRT, after RATING off the pace, against a LARGE FIELD. He's also won on both the unique del mar and hollywood surfaces. Let him prove himself further in the San Felipe, but even if he doesn't win the San Felipe, no biggie. As long as he's healthy the SA Derby is the most important prep.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
If this horse wins the San Felipe I will start betting on Buggies and Quarters.
Lawrence Vaccarelli More than 1 year ago
hows that working ?
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Thanks for this free article on a restricted Cal bred non graded stakes race DRF. BIG PLUS ONE
Chris Lowe More than 1 year ago
A bit of sarcasm, no? LMAO!
John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
Lasix and blinkers and the horse becomes alive. Amazing. No mention of the field, so we know zero about the quality of the field. They always do this. A horse has an equipment and medication change and he is a Derby contender.? The first Saturday in May is a long way off, and a lot can happen to these young three year olds. I withhold my opinion.
martymar . More than 1 year ago
In case anyone is wondering, I read a tweet that electric eddie has a condylar fracture and will have surgery tomorrow.
Panama Stallion More than 1 year ago
May his surgery be successful and he be able to live a long life. My prayers go out to him and all his connections.
Chris Lowe More than 1 year ago
Constantly running him over his head did not help...
johnd More than 1 year ago
Let me get the straight. A horse wins a restricted California Bred race and the headline of the aritcle is, in effect, almost touting the horse for the Kentucky Derby? Oh, to what depths has the Daily Racing Form fallen to shore up the sagging fortunes of California racing. Again, just another inane "free" article from what used to be a truly fine publication. Shame on them, the DRF
MulefaceThe More than 1 year ago
Oh, what a few months can do... This "Cal-bred" is now a gr. 1 winner and the favorite for the Kentucky Derby...