DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (Jan. 27, 2016) — California Chrome will run in a 2,000-meter (1 1/4 miles) handicap Feb. 25 at Meydan Racecourse to prep for the March 26 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) rather than racing on the March 5 “Super Saturday” program, assistant trainer Alan Sherman confirmed Jan. 26.
“I want to run him in the handicap and not on Super Saturday because it gives us another week before the World Cup.” Sherman told The National.
“The World Cup will be his third race after a long layoff and I just think it suits our schedule better.”
The 2014 Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male will have his first serious breeze in about 10 days as he begins tuning up for his second start of the season. He has settled in well at Meydan after arriving Jan. 22 off his successful return to the races Jan. 9 with a victory in the San Pasqual (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park. That was the first run for the 5-year-old son of Lucky Pulpit since his 2015 Dubai World Cup bid, when he finished second to Prince Bishop.
Last year, trainer Art Sherman sent California Chrome to the World Cup off a runner-up finish in the Feb. 7 San Antonio Invitational (gr. II). This season he follows the path of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin , who won the 2008 Jaguar Trophy before winning the World Cup.
California Chrome will face not only foreign horses in the World Cup, when he races for a new partnership that includes co-breeder Perry Martin and Taylor Made, but will take on a strong contingent of U.S.-based runners as well. Keen Ice, who upset Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the Travers Stakes (gr. I) last year, 2015 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Dortmund, and TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) winner Frosted will also line up for the richest race in the world.