By Claire Novak
California Chrome stuck his nose out the window of the Bob Hubbard horse van and breathed familiar air.
Arriving back at Santa Anita Park Oct. 30, around 11:45 a.m. local time after a smooth ride from trainer Art Sherman’s home base at Los Alamitos Race Course, the world’s greatest racehorse soon powered down the ramp with loyal groom Raul Rodriguez on the shank, ready for his Nov. 5 engagement as the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) favorite.
After a toss of his head and Rodriguez’s steady hand on the shank for a short stroll, California Chrome was safely installed in Barn 126.
“There was no traffic. We just zipped right over here,” said assistant trainer Alan Sherman. “Hopefully we’re going to see him zip right into the winner’s circle.”
California Chrome galloped at Los Al before his late-morning journey, having put in his final pre-race breeze Oct. 27, and will train at a time to be determined Oct. 31 at Santa Anita.
Undefeated this season, California Chrome has dominated his competition at every turn, including the Dubai World Cup presented by Emirates Airline (UAE-I) and the TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I). He exits a 2 1/4-length, geared-down score in the Oct. 1 Awesome Again Stakes (gr. I), his latest in a six-for-six string. As a 3-year-old, he ran third in the Classic, but returns at the top of his game this year.
“Chrome’s brought us all around the world, and now to be here at the biggest stage in North America is great,” Alan Sherman said. “As long as Chrome’s doing good, we’re doing good, and he’s doing great.”