By Jeremy Balan BloodHorse.com
CYPRESS, CA (March 13, 2015)-Los Alamitos Race Course’s most famous resident ran over his home track one last time March 13 in preparation for the world’s richest race.
Out on the track all alone, as has been customary since his Triple Crown run, California Chrome worked seven furlongs in an easy 1:23 4/5 in front of a group of about 50 adoring “Chromies,” many sporting the purple and green stable colors of Steve Coburn and Perry Martin’s DAP Racing.
It was the final local workout for the 4-year-old son of Lucky Pulipt before shipping to Dubai March 17 for the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) coming up March 28 at Meydan Racecourse.
“He worked excellent today,” trainer Art Sherman said. “In the final work before Dubai, he looked awesome. It was pretty impressive.”
The most impressive fraction was his first six furlongs in 1:10 1/5, along with the fact that the reigning Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male barely seemed to be breathing heavily afterward.
“He’s a lot stronger horse right now,” Sherman said. “He’s been training awesome. It’s about as good as I’ve seen him train since I’ve had him.”
The Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner will leave for Dubai March 17, with assistant trainer Alan Sherman departing March 16 to be there to greet him and with Art Sherman following for his first trip to the country March 22. The plan is to have California Chrome work once over the Meydan course, three days ahead of the World Cup. Sherman said the breeze will likely be four furlongs.
With the recent withdrawal of Constitution and Toast of New York, California Chrome figures to be a significant favorite in the 2,000-meter test, something Sherman wasn’t particularly concerned with.
“It’s like anything else,” Sherman said. “You’ve got two key horses that could have given you competition and when they’re not there, you say ‘Well, there’s two I don’t have to outrun,’ but there’s still 14 head of horses over there and plenty of quality.”
Although he stressed his focus doesn’t wander far past the World Cup, Sherman couldn’t help but bring up rival Shared Belief and a potential rematch between the two 4-year-olds.
“He’s the real deal,” Sherman said of Shared Belief. “The only horse who can probably beat Shared Belief in the country is California Chrome… I’m sure they’ll hook up again, most likely in the Breeders’ Cup. We’re hoping everyone is sound and ready by then. I’d like to have another matchup with him, to be honest.”