Lucky Pulpit Succumbs to Heart Attack

Coalinga, CA (February 13, 2017)-Lucky Pulpit suffered an apparent heart attack this afternoon while covering his first broodmare of the 2017 season. Both David McGlothlin (farm manager) and Raul Rosa (stallion manager) were in the Harris Farms breeding shed with Lucky Pulpit when he collapsed coming off the mare.

Lucky Pulpit was owned and raced by Mr. and Mrs. Larry Williams and stood his entire career at Harris Farms in Coalinga.

The 16-year-old son of Pulpit out of Lucky Soph, by Cozzene, currently sits atop California’s 2017 general sire list. He was the state’s leading sire last year by progeny earnings, with more than $10.7 million and was the states leading sire in three of the past four years.

From seven crops of racing age, Lucky Pulpit is the sire of 148 winners, including the multiple Eclipse Award winning Californian Chrome. His 229 starters to date have amassed progeny earnings of $24 million.

“The California and national thoroughbred racing industry, where Lucky Pulpit has ranked at the top of the sire lists year after year with world class performers, will still have another three crops from this stellar sire yet to race. Lucky Pulpit hit homerun after homerun with his offspring both in the sales ring and on the racetrack and from early on we had a glimpse of what he would become as a sire.” David McGlothlin.

Lucky Pulpit, who was bred and raced by Mr. and Mrs. Larry Williams, was a winner in his second outing at two. He then placed in a grade 3 at two and a placing in a grade 2 at three, before capturing the five furlong turf Smile Stakes at Arlington Park as a four-year-old. Overall, he won three races from twenty-two starts with five seconds and five thirds earning $209,928.

California Chrome’s X-rays Come Back Clean

NICHOLSVILLE, Ky. (Jan. 30, 2017) –Two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome is settling in at Taylor Made Farm near Nicholasville, Ky., after arriving Jan. 29. X-rays following his final race are all clear.

After finishing ninth in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 28 at Gulfstream Park, trainer Art Sherman said there was a small amount of swelling in California Chrome’s right knee, which the trainer didn’t think was too serious. To be cautious, Taylor Made conducted X-rays of the knee and found no injury, according to Taylor Made’s Duncan Taylor.

In fact, as it has after every California Chrome race, Taylor Made conducted a full set of X-rays and the champion is all clear.

“They thought that when he jogged he may have been a little off in the right front, and they thought there might have been a little heat in his right knee,” Duncan Taylor said Jan. 30. “We’ve been X-raying him after every race, so we went ahead and did a full set of X-rays and everything looks good. There’s not any problem there.”

Taylor said the 6-year-old son of Lucky Pulpit   is on schedule to start the breeding season on time.

“He’s settling in good, he’s been out in his paddock and everything is going good so far,” Taylor said. “You know it feels great, the idea that he’s coming here has already sunk in.”

The Taylor Made team is excited to have the two-time Horse of the Year preparing for his first season at stud, which is expected to begin in mid-February.

California Chrome retires as the leading North American-based horse by earnings with more than $14,752,650 powered by 10 graded stakes wins, including seven at the group/grade 1 level, two of those being classics.

“We’ve had a really good response to the stud fee ($40,000). I haven’t heard anybody saying ‘You stood him too high,’” Taylor said. “We’re able to pick through the mares. We’ve had a really good response from the breeders.”

As for the off-the-board finish in his final start—his first since 2014—Taylor noted that the outside post presented a high hurdle for California Chrome.

“It’s sort of a letdown that his last performance is what it was—I think that’s not the (typical) Chrome,” Taylor said. “Not to make excuses. Even if we were right next to Arrogate, we might not have been able to beat Arrogate; he’s a great horse. I’m not taking anything away from them.”

Taylor thanked the fans who cheered California Chrome throughout his racing career.

“We really appreciate all the fans, and the people who have got to enjoy Chrome and seeing that has been a lot of our enjoyment,” Taylor said. “You really get to see first-hand how much a lot of people really love horses. You see these fans, when they fall in love with a horse, how much they actually care about them; it’s really moving and rewarding to see. And you realize how blessed you are to be around these animals every day.”

California Chrome on Schedule for Kentucky Trip

By Frank Angst
Hallandale, FL (Janaury 29, 2017)-His usual self in his stall in Barn 2 at Gulfstream Park the morning of Jan. 29, two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome   awaited a scheduled trip to Taylor Made Farm where he will begin his stallion career.

At 6:45 a.m. Jan. 29, California Chrome’s groom Raul Rodriguez said the original plan to ship out around 9 a.m. on a trip to Taylor Made in Nicholasville, Ky. was still in place. Moments earlier on a cool, drizzly morning, California Chrome had playfully let Rodriguez know he was around with a fake bite as the groom was doing some work outside his stall.

On Jan. 28 California Chrome’s final race ended with a ninth-place finish in the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) won by Arrogate. The finish marked the first time since a sixth-place run in the 2014 Pennsylvania Derby (G2) in September 2014 that the son of Lucky Pulpit had finished off the board.

After the race trainer Art Sherman said California Chrome had some fluid in his right knee.

“We can see he’s a little off in his knee—he has a little fluid, nothing major,” Sherman said after the race Jan. 28. “Maybe he has a small chip in the lower capsule.”

On Jan. 29 Rodriguez said swelling in the knee was about the same or may have gone down some.

Sherman noted after the race that it would be a short flight to Lexington, less than three hours and if a chip needed to be removed or other treatment was needed, he would receive it in Kentucky. He said the injury is common in racing but not for California Chrome.

“It’s a common injury but he’s been so sound throughout his life,” Sherman said.

One odd thing Sherman noticed before the race was when California Chrome ducked in before loading—something the trainer said the champion had never done before. An NBC cameraman with a hand-held camera was walking alongside when California Chrome swerved away and had to be redirected before loading.

After he’s given any needed treatment and time to adjust to his new surroundings, Taylor Made hopes California Chrome can begin stud duty around mid-February. He’ll stand for $40,000.

Harris Farms Connections Enter Lucrative Cal-bred Stakes Saturday at Santa Anita

Arcadia, CA (January 25, 2017)-The first stakes on the program is the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare going about six and a half furlongs on the downhill course which is well covered by Harris Farms connected horses.

All That Heat is by Unusual Heat, out of the Afternoon Delites mare Little Hottie, was bred by Madeline Auerbach, Barry Abrams and Sonny Pais, is owned by Al & Sandee Kirkwood and trained by Mark Glatt. She has one win in eight starts, earnings of $71,026 and is coming off a third in a Dec. 29 optional claimer.

Desert Steel is by Desert Code, out of the Cozzene mare Lujien Lujien, was bred by Harris Farms, is owned by Eclipse Thoroughbreds or Bamford or House and is trained by Simon Callaghan. She has four wins in 15 starts, earnings of $254,779 and is coming off a third in the Dec. 4 Bear Fan.

How Unusual is by Unusual Heat, out of the Bartok mare Veela, was bred by Madeline Auerbach & Barry Abrams, is owned by Fetkin, Sill or St. Hilaire, et al, and is trained by Michael Pender. She has three wins in 13 starts, earnings of $155,642 and is coming off an eighth in the Dec. 31 American Oaks.

Late ‘n Left is by Lucky Pulpit, out of the Grand Slam mare Royal Grand Slam, was bred by Mr. & Mrs. Larry Williams, is owned by Zolatas, Zolatas or Hamilton and is trained by Anthony Saavedra. She has four wins in 11 starts, earnings of $98,105 and is coming off a sixth in a Jan. 6 optional claimer.

My Pi Romancer tries the California Cup Oaks with a purse of $200,000 going a mile on the turf course. She is by Unusual Heat, out of the Cryptoclearance mare Free the Magic, was bred by owner KMN Racing and is trained by J. Keith Desormeaux. She is coming off a maiden win in her fourth start Jan. 2 with earnings of $65,200.

Ward ‘n Jerry is in the co-feature of the day the $250,000 California Cup Turf Classic S. presented by City National Bank over nine furlongs of lawn.

Ward ‘n Jerry is by Lucky Pulpit, out of the Dehere mare Tamarack Bay, was bred by owners Mr. and Mrs. Larry Williams and trained by Mike Puype. He has three wins in nine starts, earnings of $127,065 and is coming off an eighth in a Jan. 2 optional claimer.

In the California Cup Derby, with a purse of $250,000, is Hot Smoke and Six Point Rack trying the eight and a half furlongs.

Hot Smoke is by Unusual Heat, out of the Tale of the Cat mare Barbara Orr, was bred by owner Mercedes Stable and is trained by Robertino Diodoro. He has one win in five starts, earnings of $80,540 and is coming off a fourth in the Dec. 18 King Glorious.

Six Point Rack is by Lucky Pulpit, out of the Dehere mare Tamarack Bay, was bred by owners Mr. and Mrs. Larry Williams and is trained by Mike Puype. He has one win in four starts, earnings of $34,130 and is coming off a Dec. 29 maiden win.

California Chrome Draws Outside Post for Pegasus

By Jay Privman
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla.–The inaugural $12 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park looks on paper like a match race between Arrogate and California Chrome, and the possibility of the two hooking up early in the race increased Monday when they drew posts that likely will force them to be used immediately from the gate to maintain or hold position.

Arrogate landed the rail and California Chrome got the outside post in a field of 12 when the posts were drawn early Monday evening. The Pegasus is a 1 1/8-mile race on a 1 1/8-mile racetrack, so California Chrome will have to go from his slot; Arrogate likely will, too, to avoid having inferior horses drop over on him into the first turn. Arrogate also had the rail in the Travers, and was sent hard that day en route to a record-setting victory.

Arrogate and California Chrome finished one-two in their only prior meeting, in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November at Santa Anita going 1 1/4 miles.

Art Sherman, California Chrome’s trainer, rolled his eyes when California Chrome got the far outside post.

“Well, at least we won’t have to be in the gate too long,” he said. “Oh gosh, here we go again.”

This will be California Chrome’s final race before he goes to stud. Alan Sherman, Art’s son and assistant, said there’s no reason to be timid because California Chrome won’t race again.

“We’ll take it to ’em,” Alan Sherman said. “Ain’t gotta leaving nothing in the tank.”

Post 12 is 1 for 18 in 1 1/8-mile dirt races since Gulfstream Park was expanded from a mile in circumference in 2006. Posts 10 through 12 are a combined 7 for 117.

Noble Bird, who drew post 4, does his best running when he makes the top, so he has to be sent. There’s the distinct possibility the early pace will be faster than par.

Jay Stone, who makes the morning line at Gulfstream Park, has California Chrome as the 6-5 favorite, with Arrogate next at 7-5.

Here’s the field, from the rail out, with riders and morning-line prices:

— Arrogate, Mike Smith the rider, 7-5 odds;

— Prayer for Relief, Florent Geroux, 50-1;

— Neolithic, John Velazquez, 30-1;

— Noble Bird, Julien Leparoux, 25-1;

— War Story, Antonio Gallardo, 50-1;

— War Envoy, Luis Saez, 50-1;

— Shaman Ghost, Jose Ortiz, 20-1;

— Semper Fortis, Tyler Gaffalione, 50-1;

— Keen Ice, Javier Castellano, 12-1;

— Breaking Lucky, Luis Contreras, 25-1;

— Eragon, Edgar Prado, 50-1;– California Chrome, Victor Espinoza, 6-5.

There are three alternates in case of late scratches of three specific horses. Alternates could be declared for all 12 runners, but only three owners or lessees exercised the insurance plan for their slots.

— Stanford would replace Arrogate if he’s a late scratch;

— Sea Raven would replace Breaking Lucky if he’s a late scratch;

— Madefromlucky would replace California Chrome if he’s a late scratch.

The race will be televised live by NBC from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time Saturday.

California Chrome Again Wins Horse of the Year

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 21, 2017) — The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters announced this evening that California Chrome, winner of the Dubai World Cup and the TVG Pacific Classic, and North America’s all-time leading money earning Thoroughbred, was voted as Horse of the Year, an honor which he also won in 2014, at the 46th Annual Eclipse Awards ceremony at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

The Eclipse Awards, honoring excellence in North American Thoroughbred racing, presented by The Stronach Group, Daily Racing Form and the Breeders’ Cup, are voted on by the NTRA, Daily Racing Form (DRF) and the National Turf Writers And Broadcasters (NTWAB).

California Chrome becomes the first two-time Horse of the Year to win the honor in non-consecutive years since John Henry achieved it in 1981 and 1984. Owned by California Chrome LLC of Perry Martin and Taylor Made Farm, and trained by Art Sherman, California Chrome received 202 first-place votes for Horse of the Year.

California Chrome, who was also named the unanimous winner of the Older Dirt Male award, won 7 of 8 starts in 2016, including dominant victories in the $10 million Dubai World Cup and the TVG Pacific Classic, and propelled him to become the all-time leading North American money earner with $14,502,650.

Voting Overview
In voting that concluded January 3, 2017, Eclipse Awards voters cast their ballots to rank the top three horses and individuals in each Championship division on a 10-5-1 point system basis. This voting established the top three finalists in each division, whose names were released on Jan. 5, 2012. The tallies below represent only first-place votes from members of the consolidated voting entities, NTRA, Daily Racing Form and National Turf Writers And Broadcasters. The votes were tabulated and certified by Strothman and Company.
Voter participation rate: 248/264= 93.94%
Horse of the Year (Name, First-Place Votes)
California Chrome, 202; Arrogate, 40; Songbird, 5; Highland Reel, 1.
Older Dirt Male
California Chrome, 248.

California Chrome Looks as Good as Can Be in Final Drill for Pegasus

By Jay Privman
California Chrome completed his serious training for the $12 million Pegasus World Cup next Saturday with a five-furlong work in 58.91 seconds on Saturday morning here at Gulfstream Park, where the Pegasus will be run in one week.

California Chrome had the track to himself at 7:30 a.m. He broke off at the five-furlong pole with exercise rider Dihigi Gladney and cruised through the lane before galloping out six furlongs in 1:12.41. The final time and gallop out were recorded by Daily Racing Form’s Mike Welsch.

Art Sherman, California Chrome’s trainer, said before the work he was looking for a time in about a minute, with a gallop out in 1:13. He was very happy with how California Chrome drilled.

“I thought he worked sensational,” Sherman said. “He was on cruise control.”

Art Sherman arrived on Thursday night to oversee final preparations for the race. His son and assistant, Alan, has been here for the past two weeks with California Chrome. Alan watched the work from the stands, and as California Chrome galloped out he said, “He looked great.”

“I’m really glad we came here early, with all the weather they’ve had in California,” Alan Sherman said.

The significance of this being California Chrome’s final work hit Alan on Friday night.

“I was thinking about that last night,” Alan Sherman said. “It is weird.”

California Chrome is scheduled to go to stud at Taylor Made after the Pegasus.

California Chrome’s Dubai Win Top ’16 Moment

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced Jan. 20 that California Chrome’s win in the Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1) has been named the 2016 NTRA Moment of the Year based on the results of a record 2,817 votes cast via Twitter and an online poll.

California Chrome’s connections—owners California Chrome LLC (Perry and Denise Martin, Taylor Made Stallions, et al.), trainer Art Sherman, and jockey Victor Espinoza—will be awarded the 2016 Moment of the Year trophy at the 46th Annual Eclipse Awards Presented by Daily Racing Form, Breeders’ Cup, and The Stronach Group Jan. 21 at Gulfstream Park.

California Chrome became North America’s all-time earnings leader with his win in the world’s richest race, the $10 million Dubai World Cup, at Meydan Racecourse. The $6 million winner’s share pushed his career bankroll to $12,532,650, surpassing Curlin  ‘s previous mark. The winning margin was 3 3/4 lengths but might have been even wider had Espinoza not felt his saddle slipping out from underneath him in the stretch.

The 2016 Moment of the Year trophy is a crystal timepiece set to 9:12 p.m. Gulf Standard Time, the moment when California Chrome crossed the wire in the United Arab Emirates.

NTRA Moment of the Year voters chose from 14 images illustrating a range of human emotions as well as outstanding displays of equine athleticism. Finishing second was Beholder and Songbird’s epic stretch duel in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Santa Anita Park.

“The fact that the public voted overwhelmingly for a moment that received limited media exposure in the United States demonstrates how passionate Thoroughbred racing fans are,” said Keith Chamblin, NTRA Chief Operating Officer. “This result is a surprise only to those that underestimate the power of a superstar like California Chrome.”

The 2014 award went to California Chrome’s dominant win in Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1). Last year’s vote resulted in a landslide for American Pharoah’s historic Triple Crown-clinching triumph at Belmont Park.

The first-ever NTRA Moment of the Year was the touching scene between Charismatic and jockey Chris Antley following the 1999 Belmont Stakes.

Metaboss Enters Stud at Harris Farms

By Ron Mitchell
Grade 3 winner Metaboss has been retired and will enter stud this year at Harris Farms near Coalinga, Calif., for a fee of $2,000 stands and nurses.

A versatile 5-year-old son of Street Boss, Metaboss won the El Camino Real Derby (G3) as a 3-year-old and was a fast-closing second in the 2016 Del Mar Handicap Presented by the Japan Racing Association (G2T) on grass.

Produced from the stakes-placed Free House mare Spinning Yarns, Metaboss was bred in Kentucky by Mr. and Mrs. John Toffan and purchased by Mersad Metanovic for $10,000 from the Mill Ridge offerings at the 2012 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

Racing for a partnership that included Metanovic, Nevada-based Daniel Preiss, Chuck Azacarate, Milan McFetridge, and MRS Stables, among others, Metaboss won three of 12 starts and earned $300,420. Metaboss was retired after sustaining a small sesamoid fracture during a workout in preparation for last year’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1T).

He was trained primarily by Phil D’Amato, and was with Michael Dickinson in Maryland when coming back after missing 13 months due to an injury.

Metanovic said Metaboss’ greatest attributes were his ability to be placed anywhere in a race and his strong closing kick.

“He could adjust to any kind of pace,” he said. “And I’ve never seen a horse come home like that. He was a really smart horse and knew exactly what his job was and what he had to do.”

Metranovic said Metaboss will be a good fit in California and that he has been shopping mixed sales for mares to breed to the horse.

“I think he will fit well in this program,” Metranovic said. “We are going to be really aggressive and we have already had a good response. At the Keeneland January (horses of all ages) sale I was looking for fast fillies and accomplished mares who have thrown stakes horses.”

The California-based bloodstock agent said he believes Metaboss would cross well with mares from the Mr. Prospector line since he was sired by a son of Street Cry and was produced from a Free House mare.

California Chrome Focused in Penultimate Move

By Alicia Wincze-Hughes
Alan Sherman still has a job to do. Most important, so too does the champion chestnut Sherman and his father have had in their care for over four seasons now.

So as much as Sherman gets asked about the emotions of the moment, how his barn will cope once they officially have to move on from being the home of 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome, he needs all involved to remain laser focused on the fact the son of Lucky Pulpit   isn’t done yet. There is still one last target, the most lucrative one yet, and a expected adversary who not be the least bit forgiving if his older rival brings anything but his best game to the table.

With California Chrome’s penultimate move before his expected career finale in the $12 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) Jan. 28, Sherman made sure not to leave anything to chance. In the 6-year-old horse’s first serious breeze since arriving at Gulfstream Park last week, the top assistant and son to trainer Art Sherman put blinkers on his charge and got the focused runner he wanted to see Jan. 14, with California Chrome coasting through a five-furlong move in 1:00 3/5 under exercise rider Dihigi Gladney.

The last time California Chrome put in a timed move anywhere other than his base at Los Alamitos Race Course came July 16 when he fired a bullet five-furlong move at Del Mar in preparation for a sublime triumph in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic (G1). When North America’s all-time earnings leader arrives at a new venue, he often senses something serious on the horizon—and Alan Sherman wanted to make sure that force was harnessed in the proper direction.

“He galloped out really good, he seemed to handle the track well,” Alan Sherman said of California Chrome’s move. “We put blinkers on him today because I didn’t want him to look around so much. I wanted him to focus on the task at hand because he likes to look around and gawk a little bit a new places. But we put the blinkers on him, he stayed focused, he was nice and relaxed, his ears were pricked. It was a perfect work.”

Sherman added California Chrome is slated to have the final work of his storied career on Jan. 21, hours before the winners of the 2016 Eclipse Awards are announced at Gulfstream that evening.

Following a campaign last season that saw him win seven of eight starts, including the $10 million Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1), California Chrome still looms as the favorite to defeat his Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) conqueror Arrogate for Horse of the Year honors. With Arrogate expected to be part of the Pegasus World Cup field, California Chrome’s final start will also serve as his last chance to right one of his few career blemishes before he retires to Taylor Made Farm.

Having been the main overseer for each of California Chrome’s 26 career starts, Alan Sherman doesn’t want to think about anything right now other than the strapping charge who keeps bowling him over with his indefatigability.

“I try not to think about too much that this is our last race and just approach it like this is any other race,” Sherman said. “I’ll probably get a little emotional after the race. But he just keeps getting better. To be honest, I don’t think a horse reaches their full maturity until they are 5 or 6 years old. Unfortunately we don’t get to see a lot of horses running at that age…it’s a hard decision to make.”

In other Pegasus news, trainer Doug O’Neill confirmed shareholder Reddam Racing will run grade 1 winner Ralis in the Pegasus, while stablemate Semper Fortis goes to the undercard. Ralis, a 4-year-old son of Square Eddie   who took the Hopeful Stakes (G1) as a 2-year-old, has not seen the winner’s circle since then. He ran ninth in the Nov. 5 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1T) last out.

Also on the Gulfstream worktab, James McIngvale’s Eragon, the multiple group 1 winner from Argentina who is slated to make his first U.S. start in the Pegasus World Cup, took to the track just ahead of California Chrome for his first local breeze. The 6-year-old was credited by the clockers with a four-furlong move in :49 4/5 seconds, although trainer Laura Wohlers viewed the morning exercise as “an easy seven-eighths.”

“He started little slow in the first part but picked it up from the quarter-pole to the wire with a nice kick,” jockey Edgar Prado said. “He galloped out good and came home good.”

Eragon spent 2 1/2 weeks in quarantine in Miami before arriving at Gulfstream Jan. 5.

“I thought he worked fine. He hadn’t worked in a long time—since Dec. 17 in Argentina. He worked an easy seven-eighths. Today was the fastest he’s gone in a month—since being stuck in quarantine,” Wohlers said. “I’m happy with it and he seems to be cooling out good. He was blowing a little bit, but he caught his breath back pretty quick.”