CYPRESS, Calif. (Nov. 19, 2016) — Alan Sherman got a clear indication California Chrome was doing just fine after his work Nov. 19 at Los Alamitos Race Course.
While getting the 2014 Horse of the Year untacked after his first timed drill since a second-place run in the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), Sherman had to bob and weave like a boxer to dodge a familiar bite from the chestnut.
“Look at that,” said exercise rider Dihigi Gladney, who had just hopped off the horse a moment earlier. “He’s still hungry. He’s a man-eater.”
“When he stops biting and being aggressive, then we’ll start to worry,” Sherman said after a hearty laugh.
California Chrome went about his business Saturday in his standard fashion, how trainer Art Sherman and assistant Alan Sherman have trained him consistently during his 2016 campaign—relaxed early and quick late.
Eager to get to work, the son of Lucky Pulpit tossed his head approaching the half-mile pole, then clicked off fractions of :13, :25 1/5, :36 4/5, and finished off the four-furlong drill in :48 2/5, with a powerful stride in the Los Alamitos stretch during his early morning private workout session.
“See him throw him head?” Gladney said after the workout, which he timed himself in :48 flat. “He knows. When he’s the only one out there, he knows it’s time to work. He’s funny like that.”
Alan Sherman, who was overseeing the work in the absence of his father, who is still recovering from recent cataract surgery, has been more than impressed with the way California Chrome has recovered from the 1 1/4-mile Classic just two weeks ago.
“The way he came out of this race—he bounced back so quick,” Alan Sherman said. “I was so surprised. I don’t know if it’s because he’s so healthy or happy, but he bounces back quicker than any horse I’ve ever seen. After a mile and a quarter at the highest level—he’s a freak of nature.”
California Chrome is scheduled to record weekly workouts at Los Alamitos in preparation for an expected $100,000, to-be-named stakes at the Cypress, Calif. racetrack Dec. 17.
The 1 1/16-mile contest would be his first race at his home track and the Shermans will use it as a prep for the $12 million Pegasus World Cup (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 28, which is expected to be the seven-time grade/group I winner’s last race.