California Chrome Works Half-Mile Toward Summer Return

By Steve Andersen
CYPRESS, Calif. (May 21, 2016)–California Chrome worked a half-mile in 49.80 seconds at Los Alamitos early Saturday, his second workout since his historic win in the $10 million Dubai World Cup in the United Arab Emirates on March 26.

The workout kept California Chrome on schedule for his summer debut in the $200,000 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on July 23, a prep race for the $1 million Pacific Classic there on Aug. 20.

Exercising before dawn, California Chrome worked by himself under exercise rider Dihigi Gladney, running the first three furlongs in 37 seconds without urging. California Chrome started three-eighths of a mile from the finish, or midway on the turn, before reaching the long stretch at Los Alamitos. He ran past the wire and into the first turn to finish the half-mile.

Trainer Art Sherman timed California Chrome in 36.60 seconds for the first three furlongs and in 47.40 seconds for a half-mile.

“He’s coming along and getting fitter,” Sherman said. “You’ll see him change gears when he gets up to five-eighths. Right now, he’s just breezing.”

California Chrome worked three furlongs in 36.20 seconds on May 14.

The 2014 Horse of the Year, California Chrome is unbeaten in three starts this year, including the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes at Santa Anita in January. California Chrome was sent to Dubai in late January and won a prep race there in February prior to the Dubai World Cup.

The victory in the Dubai World Cup was worth $6 million and increased California Chrome’s lifetime earnings to $12,532,650, a record for a North American-based Thoroughbred. California Chrome, 5, has won 12 of 21 starts for owners Perry Martin and Taylor Made Farms, who race as California Chrome LLC.

California Chrome spent most of April at Taylor Made Farms in Kentucky before rejoining Sherman’s stable at Los Alamitos on May 1. Sherman said California Chrome retained his fitness from the early races this year during the brief vacation compared to a longer rest period in 2015.

“When he came in this time, he’d been out for 30 days,” Sherman said. “He’d put on about 65 pounds. He came in the first time, he had a big belly.”

California Chrome was the first horse on the track early Saturday and had a brief private training session. Sherman said he prefers to send California Chrome out early to avoid other horses.

“They’ve got so many young horses around here now,” Sherman said. “I don’t want to take any chances. There’s no traffic.”