As planned, California Chrome had an easy first day at Gulfstream Park and walked the shedrow about 12 hours after arriving here from Los Alamitos Race Course in Southern California for his engagement in the world's richest race, the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 28.
Supervised by trainer Art Sherman's son and assistant, Alan, California Chrome walked the shedrow before 6 a.m. Saturday.
“He ate up last night and everything is good,” Sherman said. “We will train him tomorrow. He looks good and he's acting good. I'm happy with him.”
Sherman, who is the jet-setting California Chrome's regular traveling partner, said he will keep the 6-year-old on his usual training schedule, which is to hit the track before the sun rises. California Chrome will jog Sunday and then will commence his galloping sessions Monday. The plan is to work the 2016 Horse of the Year finalist on Jan. 14.
“We'll probably train him around 6,” Sherman said. “It's just when we always go with him; we always take him out early and we're not going to change now.”
Gulfstream Park is the ninth racetrack that California Chrome has visited during his illustrious career, and Sherman said he believes the son of Lucky Pulpit enjoys seeing new places.
“He's a good traveler,” Sherman said. “You look at all the different tracks he has won on – he doesn't have to take his surface with him. I think he loves to travel. He can't wait to get somewhere new. He really enjoys it.”
California Chrome was a headline-maker in 2014, when he won the first two legs of the Triple Crown before being named 3-year-old champion and Horse of the Year. After overcoming physical issues that shortened his 2015 campaign following a second-place finish in the Dubai World Cup (G1), he returned this year to win his first six races, including the Dubai World Cup. In the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita Nov. 5, California Chrome lost by a half-length to Arrogate, who he will meet in an eagerly anticipated rematch in the Pegasus,
California Chrome will be retired after the Pegasus World Cup and begin his career as a stallion at Taylor Made in Nicholasville, Ky. Gulfstream Park is his last stop before heading to Taylor Made.
“It's definitely a bittersweet time,” Sherman remarked.
Art Sherman is expected to travel to South Florida in time to attend the Eclipse Awards Jan. 21 and put the finishing touches on California Chrome's preparation for the Pegasus World Cup.
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