By Claire Novak
California Chrome drilled down in his latest Los Alamitos workout Dec. 12, covering five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 at the Southern California track and galloping out in the powerful manner than has become his signature style.
In prepping for a Jan. 9 comeback in the San Pasqual Stakes (gr. II) coming up at Santa Anita Park, the Art Sherman trainee is laying the foundation for a hopeful return to the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I). He was second in the race this year but has not run since then.
“He’s training great,” assistant Alan Sherman said. “He worked perfect. He hasn’t missed a beat since he got back here.”
Under regular exercise rider Dihigi Gladney, Perry Martin and Taylor Made Farm’s chestnut runner was clocked by Russ Hudak in splits of :25 1/5, :37 1/5, :48 4/5, and the final time of 1:00 3/5 with a gallop out in 1:14 2/5.
Rested at Taylor Made in Kentucky this summer to recover from bone bruising, the 4-year-old son of Lucky Pulpit returned to the Sherman Racing barn at Los Al in early October and has put in five recorded works since rejoining the string.
“When he came in from Taylor Made, he looked so good,” Sherman said. “They did a really good job putting weight on him. He’s so much stronger than he was after his 3-year-old year. Missing most of his 4-year-old season could have been a blessing; the horse is so much bigger and stronger. I’m looking forward to getting him going.”
Jockey Victor Espinoza, who rode California Chrome to many victories including in the 2014 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I), will soon be reunited with his mount for a morning breeze.
“If he doesn’t work him the next time, he’ll work him the time after that,” said Sherman. “He’ll probably go five furlongs and gallop out or we might even go six with him.”
California Chrome is on a weekly Saturday workout schedule, and has not missed a breeze since his connections started his return to training.
“He gallops out so strong when he works. The horse is a beast,” Sherman said.