By Steve Andersen
A week after returning from a monthlong vacation, the star 3-year-old California Chrome began galloping at Los Alamitos on Friday in preparation for an expected comeback in September.
California Chrome will gallop on a daily basis for two or three weeks before he begins workouts, according to Alan Sherman, assistant trainer to his father, Art. Alan Sherman is overseeing the Los Alamitos stable while his father is based at Del Mar this summer.
California Chrome has not raced since finishing in a dead heat for fourth in the Belmont Stakes on June 7 in a bid for the Triple Crown. He spent a month at Harris Ranch in Coalinga, Calif., this summer and returned to the stable July 17.
California Chrome jogged for a week before he galloped Friday. Alan Sherman said the popular colt handled the transition to galloping without difficulty.
“He went well,” Sherman said. “He hasn’t lost much fitness.”
Owned by Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, California Chrome won six consecutive stakes from late December to mid-May. The streak included three consecutive Grade 1 races – the Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby, and Preakness Stakes.
Alan Sherman said California Chrome will be pointed for a race in Southern California in late September, with the $200,000 Los Alamitos Mile on Sept. 20 and the $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes over 1 1/8 miles at Santa Anita on Sept. 27 the likely options. A start in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing near Philadelphia is doubtful, he said.
“There are a couple of races we can consider,” Alan Sherman said. “He’ll stay in town and run in one of those.”