By Blood-Horse Staff
CYPRESS, CA (September 6, 2014)-Readying for his return to racing later in two weeks in Pennsylvania, dual classic winner California Chrome worked a strong six furlongs between races Sept. 6 at Los Alamitos Race Course—his home track—in front of an enthusiastic and appreciative crowd.
Turning in what trainer Art Sherman called his best work since he was put back in training after a brief break following his Triple Crown campaign, the 3-year-old Lucky Pulpit colt drilled six furlongs in 1:10.37 and galloped out seven-eighths of a mile in 1:24. The chestnut colt was accompanied by regular jockey Victor Espinoza through quarter-mile fractions of :24 3/5 and :47 4/5.
California Chrome, who hasn’t raced since finishing in a dead heat for fourth in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 7, is scheduled to make his next start in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) Sept. 20 at Parx Racing. The race is the California-bred colt’s only prepe prior to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park.
Owners Perry Martin and Steve Coburn were at Los Alamitos Saturday to watch the workout of their Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner.
A large number of California Chrome fans—known as Chromies—were in attendance, some carrying signs honoring the California-bred who has won eight of 13 and earned $3,532,108.
After leaving Sherman’s stable, California Chrome, who has resided at Los Alamitos since early this year, received a loud ovation when he passed in front of the grandstand prior to turning around to begin his work. He then was greeted warmly again when he returned after completing his exercise.
“I thought it was a fantastic work,” said Sherman. “Actually better than I thought it was going to be. I figured if he went in 1:12 and change or 1:13, I would be really happy.
“You bring him out here in front of the people and he thinks he’s going to run he’s just a different horse. This is by far the best work since he’s come back. This was a test for me personally because he’s going to have to run in two weeks. We’ll get another strong work into him before he leaves and I just hope that will do the trick going a mile-and-an-eighth.
“I thought (the fans) were great. They were all applauding. It makes it fun. Los Alamitos is his home track and we’re happy to be here.”
Sherman said California Chrome will have his final Los Alamitos work Sept. 13 before heading to Bensalem, Pa. The three-time grade I winner is to ship to Parx Sept. 16.