03/19/2014 4:10PM

Santa Anita: Sherman decides to run California Chrome in Santa Anita Derby

Shigeki Kikkawa
California Chrome was more tired than usual after his San Felipe score, according to trainer Art Sherman.

ARCADIA, Calif. - California Chrome, the easy winner of the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes on March 8, is being prepared for the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 5.

Trainer Art Sherman said Wednesday that the Santa Anita Derby over 1 1/8 miles gives California Chrome an important prep for the Triple Crown races. After the San Felipe, Sherman said he was considering skipping the Santa Anita Derby and going straight to the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 3.

“I’m looking toward the Santa Anita Derby,” Sherman said. “We’ll give it a shot and we’ll see where we’re at.”

Sherman said California Chrome needed a few extra days to recover from the 1 1/16-mile San Felipe, which the colt won by 7 1/4 lengths for his fourth career stakes win and first in a graded stakes.

“He’s picked his head up a little bit,” Sherman said. “It took him a good week to start acting like his old self. I was a little concerned.”

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

California Chrome has won 5 of 9 starts and $534,850 for Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, who own and bred him.

The Santa Anita Derby candidates include Candy’s Boy, who won the Grade 2 Robert Lewis Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 8; Hoppertunity, winner of last weekend’s Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park; Friendswith K Mill, who was second in an allowance race last Sunday; and Bayern, who is unbeaten in two starts for trainer Bob Baffert but yet to run in a stakes.