California Chrome Sharp in Final Belmont Work

By Ron Mitchell
Triple Crown hopeful California Chrome looked sharp in his final workout May 31 in preparation for the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), breezing a half-mile in a quick :47.69 at Belmont Park.

The son of Lucky Pulpit who is seeking to become the 12th horse in history to sweep the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and Belmont and the first Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978 impressed on-lookers with his presence over a track playing fast after being sealed overnight because of rain in the New York area.

Also working May 31 at Belmont Park were Social Inclusion, who sizzled three furlongs in :33.48 for a possible start in the Belmont or Woody Stephens Stakes (gr. II) at seven furlongs on the Belmont Day card, and Tonalist, the Peter Pan (gr. II) winner expected to run in the Belmont.

The official works and times were:

California Chrome, half-mile in :47.69. Galloped out five furlongs in :59.93, six in 1:12.95, and seven in 1:26.28.

Social Inclusion, :33.48 for the three-furlong work, galloping out a half-mile in :45 2/5, :58 flat for five furlongs, and six in 1:09 4/5.

Tonalist, five furlongs in 1:00, with splits of :24 4/5 and :47 4/5, and gallop out six furlongs in 1:12 4/5.

Following the work, assistant trainer Alan Sherman, who timed California Chrome in :47.50, said he “got the chills” watching the exercise regimen.