Horse of the Year and 2014 Kentucky Derby (G1) conqueror California Chrome continued preparations for his five-year-old season on Saturday at Los Alamitos.
With exercise rider Dihigi Gladney aboard, the gleaming chestnut son of Lucky Pulpit recorded fractions of :25 and :47.80 before galloping out an official time of 1:01 for five furlongs over the fast dirt.
Trainer Art Sherman reported he caught California Chrome in 1:00 4/5.
“Today was really great,” the conditioner said. “I caught him in the last eighth of a mile, from the eighth-pole to the wire, in :11 flat.”
California appeared to be doing it easy and under his own power with no real encouragement from Gladney.
“I saw him galloping out strong,” Sherman stated. “He’s preparing himself really well. Everything is going smooth and I couldn’t be more happy.”
Up first on the popular California-bred’s schedule is the San Pasqual S. (G2) going 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita Park on January 9.
It will be California Chrome’s first start since he finished second in the March 28 Dubai World Cup (UAE-G1), which is once again his early season target.
“We’ll start cranking down a little bit more on him. The times will be a little faster, and a little farther,” Sherman remarked. “Hoping that, with good weather and the way we’re going right now, it shouldn’t be a problem to have him ready for the San Pasqual.”
California Chrome traveled to England after last year’s Dubai World Cup and was readying for the Prince of Wales’s S. (Eng-G1) during the Royal Ascot meet. Unfortunately, he suffered a foot bruise just days before that event which ruled him out of starting, and shipped back to the United States a few weeks later.
California Chrome’s bad luck continued stateside as an X-ray revealed a cannon bone issue that essentially sidelined him for the rest of the year. The colt just returned to training in mid-November and has now recorded four official moves.
Screen shots of California Chrome working