In his first timed move since his January 9 San Pasqual (G2) comeback score, first since arriving in Dubai, and nearly a month ahead of his February 25 handicap prep, California Chrome signaled that he’s already got his Dubai World Cup (G1) game face on.

No easy, pokey stretch of the legs for this exuberant worker, who motored a half-mile in :48.80 and kept on strongly through a six-furlong gallop-out in 1:13. Regular exercise rider Dihigi Gladney was aboard.

“We couldn’t be happier,” Sherman Racing Stables tweeted.

On the official California Chrome Facebook page, assistant trainer Alan Sherman was reported as saying he “worked like a beast.”

You might not have expected such a robust work at this point in his itinerary. Indeed, co-owner Taylor Made Stallions had tweeted Saturday that “Chrome” would work a half-mile, which sounds innocuous enough.

“According to @ShermanRacing, Chrome appears to be getting over the track very well,” the tweet concluded.

After this drill, I guess we can drop the “appears.” Will he continue to be this strong for a whole month before his prep race? Or was he just a bit fresh and more than eager to get back to work? In any event, the 2014 Horse of the Year is on the muscle a full two months ahead of his major early-season objective, the $10 million World Cup on March 26.

Here’s a quick video, courtesy of the Dubai Racing Club:

 

Photo courtesy of Dubai Racing Club via Twitter.