California Chrome in Final Work for PA Derby

By Blood-Horse Staff
CYPRESS, CA (September 13, 2014)-In his final work before he resumes racing in the upcoming $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II), 2014 dual classic winner California Chrome drilled six furlongs handily in 1:13 4/5 the morning of Sept. 13 at Los Alamitos.

Working on his own with regular rider Victor Espinoza aboard, California Chrome turned in splits of :25 2/5 for the opening quarter, :49 3/5 for a half mile, and five furlongs in 1:01 4/5. According to Los Alamitos clocker Russ Hudak, California Chrome galloped out seven furlongs in 1:27 4/5.

The 1 1/8-mile Pennsylvania Derby is Sept. 20 at Parx Racing.

Away since finishing in a dead heat for fourth in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 7, the California-bred son of Lucky Pulpit has been stabled at Los Alamitos since early in the year.

Saturday morning’s work came a week after California Chrome had gone six furlongs in 1:10.37 in an afternoon move between races.

“Very nice, very nice,” said trainer Art Sherman of the colt’s latest exercise. “I thought he did it well in hand. I didn’t want to go as fast today. I wanted more air into him. He kicked it in. He went the last eighth of a mile in 12 (seconds) and galloped out a mile in 1:43.”

A winner of eight of 13 starts for with earnings of $3,532,108 for owners Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, California Chrome will ship to Bensalem, Pa., on Tuesday, Sept. 16, for the Pennsylvania Derby.

“We’ll gallop him over the track to see how he handles it, then school him, stand him in the gate, walk through the paddock, just basic stuff,” said Sherman. “He’s not going to need anything else.”

The handsome chestnut colt won six races in a row prior to his loss in the Belmont, including the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), and the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).

The Pennsylvania Derby is to be California Chrome’s only start before the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park.