‘Freak Of Nature’ California Chrome Records First Work Since Breeders’ Cup

by | 11.19.2016 | 10:02am
California Chrome at Santa Anita prior to the Breeders' Cup

Though he finished second in the Breeders' Cup Classic just two weeks ago, California Chrome had a four-furlong workout Saturday morning at Los Alamitos. The 2014 Horse of the Year reportedly recovered very well from the first defeat of his 2016 campaign, and was behaving like his normal, feisty self following the workout, according to bloodhorse.com.

“The way he came out of this race—he bounced back so quick,” said assistant trainer Alan Sherman. “I was so surprised. I don't know if it's because he's so healthy or happy, but he bounces back quicker than any horse I've ever seen. After a mile and a quarter at the highest level—he's a freak of nature.”

California Chrome covered the half-mile in :48 2/5 under regular exercise rider Dihigi Gladney, ticking off modest early fractions and finishing strong down the lane in the same manner he has for most of 2016. The chestnut is scheduled to begin weekly works up to a possible prep race at Los Alamitos on Dec. 17, after which he will point to the $12 million Pegasus World Cup on Jan. 28.

Read more at bloodhorse.com.

Check out a video of the work here:

  • Boknows

    Go Chrome Go!! God Bless our Great One!!

  • Shasta Sam

    He’s not a “freak of nature”. He’s just an EXCEPTIONAL horse that has been allowed to fully mature and develop his full potential.

    • Mr. Blues

      This is what you get when you let a horse run at 5 years old .A mature, muscular horse…Wish other owners would follow in there footsteps.

    • ctgreyhound

      The bonafide freak is Arrogate. Any horse with his speed coupled with shellacking the Champ with such ease deserves that title. Meanwhile, Chrome has been around the block a few times & has had his highs & a small measure of lows. He is a proven, seasoned champion. His workouts are smooth & effortless. No doubt I’m going to miss him.

      • lastromantibune

        shellacking ???….please your bias is showing….I bet that race one way…Arrogate-CC/ Arrogate-CC/ Keen ice-Hoppertunity for the trifecta……yes he won and if Victor turned Chrome loose earlier it would have not made a difference in the outcome….but it was NO SHELLACKING

        • Mr J

          What does your bet have to do with Arrogate shellacking him. Weird

          • Lawrence R

            It’s called bragging

        • ctgreyhound

          Nobody here is biased???? Give me a break. If you had taken the time to read my other comments you would know that I think the world of Chrome & said so above. Everyone can’t get past the “shellacking” & digest the rest of the comment.

      • Bev

        WHAT do you consider Shellacking? Arrogate only won by a neck. AND that won’t happen again in the Pegasus. That race is Chromes then he can finally STRUTT his stuff all the way to the breeding shed. AT LAST.

        • ctgreyhound

          Please read my other replies. Arrogate won not by a nose, not by a head. A neck victory or more is decisive. Did you take the time to read the rest of my comment? If you had you would know that regardless of the BC outcome Chrome is to be honored for all his accomplishments. He had a rough patch, but he is resilient & came back stronger than ever. If he doesn’t win HOY it would be a travesty.

          • RayPaulick

            Arrogate won by a half-length.

          • emmanuel san miguel

            exactly. but the use of the word shellacking or even decisively does not match the way arrogate won the race. half-length is not shellacking nor decisive for me.

        • RayPaulick

          The margin was a half-length.

        • Lawrence R

          The margin will probably be a lot more than an neck.

      • emmanuel san miguel

        wrong choice of word…shellacking??? go google the word and use it properly

        • ctgreyhound

          Excuse me, but Arrogate bested Chrome DECISIVELY. And that’s the meaning of shellacking. Because the word isn’t used with regularity people are over reacting.

          • emmanuel san miguel

            again, wrong choice of word….decisively? have you even seen the race and how arrogate won? is it decisive? perhaps you have watched a different race, tsk, tsk…

      • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

        I agree that Arrogate is a freak. That said, beating CC by a half length at 1 1/4 miles is neither a shellacking or “winning with such ease.”

    • lastromantibune

      oh….. he is a freak alright….and I mean that in the old school racetrack talk…..the ultimate compliment !……..not all horses that race past 4 and 5 years of age would or could be this good….though I agree most of them would be better because of it….that’s why the Jockey Club should institute a rule that all registered stallions must be 5 yrs. or older to stand at stud……and I would even go so far as race drug free. But I would settle for the first requirement…I do believe Germany requires both..

      • David

        Germany is not a a breeding leader of thoroubred… Do not change a sistem that works…

        • Marcia

          Did you meant cistern? Not sure all trainers have the horse’s interest in mind these days. Nor breeders, nor owners. Too, too much inbreeding. Another reason Arrogate (as mentioned in the following post by ctgreyhound) is likely a bona-fide freak.

    • David

      Freak or not, CC has a page on the history of thoroughbred racing…

    • ForLoveOfTheGame

      : )

  • disqus_v6LneMHJ4O

    He is “simply the best”…we love you Chrome! God take care of you for your last 2 races, and thank you for all the thrills and entertainment you have provided…best 3 years ever for me, following your journey.

    • Bev

      YES……well said.

  • Jackmw

    Look at him,……he just loves to run fast. What an exceptional animal. Hope he gets a chance to race at Los Al….it will be an exhibition for sure but what a treat for the fans out there!

  • beachdoode

    He’s still my # 1 ….Giddy-Up Chrome !!!…Stay Safe for those Mares !…

    • dan gable

      Was he a “freak of nature” when Shared Belief and Arrogate blew by him when he had a clear lead in the stretch? Tell me one top horse he has beaten? Dortmund, yeah right. Did beat HOF mare, hardly an endorsement for stating one of the best of all time. Not in my top 50. Over rated.

      • hougie

        Ahem…..uh yeah were talking about staying power dude. Chrome is bringing it and has brought it at an extreme high level for way longer than SB did or arrogate ever will. Lets see if arrogate even makes the pegaus. I will be suprised if arrogate makes the breeders cup next season. Taking potshots at a legend because he lost a couple is totally classless gutless and worthless to mention.

      • Saratoga Bob

        Please are you assuming that those horses he beat in the 10.000.000 dollar Dubi World Cup were second stringers Really !!!!🏇

        • Mr J

          They were group 2/3 turf horses. Boom!

          • Bev

            ……………boom? ROFLMAO how old are you? Name all the horses who entered the 2016 DWC and where they come from since you know it ALL great one.

          • Mr J

            I already did. You must be too old. Pay attention granny

      • OopsyDaisy3

        We ought to just ignore your comment but i shutter to think who is on your top 50 list if Chrome isn’t. How far back into racing history does your top 50 list go? Linda

      • Judy Gaddis

        I, too, have to wonder just who IS among your top 50. Let’s see, I am sure you have all of the Triple Crown winners there – or DO you?…………but that still leaves many spots open. And (as has already been stated) the caliber of the horses Chrome soundly defeated in the Dubai World Cup speaks volumes as to what he is “made of”!

        • dan gable

          Great, beat a bunch of turf horses in Dubai this year and lost to one last year. Not impressed.

          • horsewhipjim

            Dan’s right turf horses is what CC beat in Dubai, and anyway the best horses aren’t in Dubai there in America where CC got beat by Real dirt horses, Art S. I’d hoping that Real 3year old horse Arrogate don’t go to the PC next year !!

          • Meg Hiers

            Except the winners of the grade 1 Met Mile on dirt, the Grade 1 Donn Handicap on dirt, the grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup on dirt, the Grade 1 Travers on dirt….

          • Bev

            Many of the horses in the DWC were from America. 4 or 5 of them AND whats wrong with turf? Chrome won on turf too. Last year he beat a horse that won on BOTH surfaces, like himself. Horses that love to run will run on anything. When you turn a horse out to pasture what do they run on, yup, turf. LOL It’s a natural footing for horses.Nothing wrong with turf. Doesn’t pay as much to win, is all. And it’s usually sprint races. AND no, you are wrong. …most of those horses if not all were DIRT winners. Chrome is the leading Dirt track champion. Proven. THAT is where the real competition is and big purses.No sense arguing with you turds. You just WANT to argue. You probably made a mint of money betting on Chrome in the DWC. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that at all. Dan is just one of those loose mouth arrogant people who likes to jump from blog to blog starting fights. Ignore him. He’s taking you all off the subject of America’s horse…….CHROME. Stay focused on THIS article and let that goof ball wander.

          • KErams

            Chrome has won on all three surfaces.

          • dan gable

            Hope Arrogate runs in Pegasus so he can crush California Tin again.

          • Lawrence R

            Sorry to disagree but the best horses are in Europe .They simply don’t race on dirt or train on dirt.

          • John

            Dans wrong! Enough said!

          • horsewhipjim

            If Dan is so wrong , name me any of the overseas horses that have beat CC name just one , or I’ll make easy for u name any the overseas turf horse CC beat that have won in America! Now Really Enough Said!!!!!!!! CC was never A American Pharaoh !!! CC has no track records and his best Beyer in his entire racing career was a 113 until he met a real three three Arrogate that made CC run that hardest he has ever ran and set a Beyer of 120 and still got beat , so one more time the best horses or in America and no one nose that better than CC !!

          • John

            If that was a 120 with Victor looking over his shoulder three or four times, would hate to see what it would be if he hadn’t. You forget that Frosted and company was also in Dubai and he also had a pretty high speed rating but has never come within 5 lengths of Chrome? He ran four wide in Dubai and then Sleazy Frank came off the rail and pushed him out further and he still won by 3.5 lengths. The exercise rider for Baffert referred to him as a Freak as well when she rode him for Sherman in the first trip to Dubai. It’s got to be very troublesome for this $10,500 horse to be beating half a mil and up horses? Given the choice of owning Chrome or Arrogate, I think my money would be on the one who has a proven record. Sooner or later, Jockey Mike is gonna break your heart (Zenyatta, Songbird, Shared Belief?). I’ll take tactical early speed over closers any day. And I’ll tell you this, Frosted and Chrome will beat Arrogate if he continue to race next year! And Dan is still wrong!

          • horsewhipjim

            Again u must not have read the post right Frosted and and how hopportunity or American breed horses , read it again what overseas horses have beaten CC or overseas horses he ran against in Dubai have won in the US name 1 !!! If CC best Beyer of 120 race of his career was against Big Money Mike Smith and Arrogate ,and still lost , Victor E. Need to move around more on CC it was he best race ever, all u Chromies know is when CC loose a race , y’all have a excuse for him, but the truth of the matter is he got beat by a better Horse that is better and faster and younger and has the fastest Beyer in New York history , and if he races arrogate again at classic distance he’s going to get beat again California chrome is a good horse but he’s not a great horse Great horses don’t have excuses when they lose. Zenyatta ,Shared B. ,Songbird , American P, all lost but achieve greatness With on excuses!! And remember none of these horses what beaten by Younger horse but California chrome was an all you can do is make an excuse as always !!!!

          • redo

            Agreed. CC is a popular champion. I don’t think I would consider him great, and may or may not make the list of the 50 greatest horses of all time.
            As far as comparing arrogate to him, at this point in time, Arrogate is more versatile, and can rated off hot if necessary.
            As far as a match race goes, speed always has an edge, and it would be an advantage for CC.

            .

          • Lawrence R

            Are you implying that Arrogate lacks speed. Just because he did’nt . pounce on Chrome earlier doesn’t mean he lacks speed. It’s there.

          • redo

            No, just the horses style of running. They all have speed. CC uses his speed earlier than Arrogate in a race with many horses.
            A horse that breaks a tracks 100 year old record has tremendous speed.

      • Robert Fleites

        hahahahahahahahahaahahahaha

      • His record speaks for itself. I suppose American Pharoah is in your top 50 off his 3 yr old campaign? Yet Chrome has been at this level for so long. Staying power matters. Pharoah could be out there. As could many horses who retired early. California Chrome is America’s horse. And his connections racing him show their respect for the sport and its fans. Long overdue.

      • Meg Hiers

        Well, he did beat Shared Belief in the BCC of 2014. Freak of nature is probably overstating it, about as much as saying that Arrogate “blew by” him in this year’s Classic.

        • Lawrence R

          If you are so proud of his finishing in front of Shared Belief, I would suggest you go back watch the rerun. Shared Belief wasn’t beaten by Chrome. He was beaten by a horrible trip . There is no telling how good he might been if he hadn’t died from colic there after.

        • Alan Sherman used the term “freak of nature” in regards to how quickly he came back from a tough race. He wasn’t discussing his pedigrre or the number of race races won or who he beat.

      • Bev

        here we go. There is ALWAYS an huge Ahole on any Chrome article comment section. AND you my dear top the cake. LOL HEY, where are Shared Belief now? ya, he had bad feet and hardly raced.Arrogate JUST got the ok to race……very slow growing his shin bones. So I doubt HE will be around next year at all if they waste his shins in the Pegasus and hell yes….when you race against the Worlds best..they are not grade 2 and 3 turf horses. LOL Where do you arse holes get your info? AND we are so used to it. You only want to start a fight. Go blow. go to some other page. Go to Arrogates page and root him on matter of act. He’ll need all the support he can get. LOL OH wait…..he’s probably resting since the BCC race and will be for the next few months until the Pegasus. Chrome PROVED all he’s accomplished . Arro is a 3yr old puberty punk. AND there are many other GREAT hard working 3yr olds that will take that Eclispe award before Arro does for one race. Be serious. Arrogate is good. BUT Next year he has to PROVE it and work for it if he want an Eclipse award. That’s just how it goes dude. He didn’t RACE hard like the others did all year. Arrogate might win the NTRA “greatest moment”??? hahaha No, I think Chrome wil win that one too for winning his DWC race with a slipped saddle and never battered an eye….kept on racing with a bucking strap on. He’s a pro. Arrogate is in puberty. ALL 3yr olds are GREAT. Look at Chrome when HE was 3. he won it all then got set up in the Belmont so he didn’t win that one. BUT who cares. You have too stick around a few years to call yourself a champion. Arro has a long long way to go. Next year will be his. If he lasts that long. I bet they’d use him up NOW just to win the Pegasus. Poor horse.

        • togahombre

          i hope your not driving

          • Bev

            sure I am……because I CAN. How about YOU?

          • togahombre

            after an off the charts rant like that either a breathalyzer or a drug screen might be in order

      • BeastBob

        What about Prince Bishop?

      • katwalk

        He’s a first ballot Hall of Fame horse. That speaks for itself, regardless of whether anyone considers him a “freak of nature” or not. Whatever that means.

      • Lawrence R

        Chrome , a really top notch race horse but people are overrating him. Applaud him for sticking around . He provided a rare career in a desert of competition. Go look at Spectacular Bid’s record ,Native Diver, Cigar ,Hals Hope. Affirmed, Kelso. Today,
        really good 3 yos are not allowed to mature to greatness. Calif. Chrome made it only through the stupidity of the original owners in the aftermath of his Belmont loss.

      • John

        You’ve gone too far! Just chill! The more than 13.5 million dollars in earnings means nothing to you. If it was easy, why is he the only horse who has accomplished it? I doubt Arrogate will accomplish such a task. I hope they take him to Dubai where they race without and monitor for drugs carefully, then and only then will you understand how mean spirited you sound. Arrogate should avoid Chrome at all cost, anybody that seriously watched his last two races, should have seen Baffert second horse run interference and Mike Smith use trickery in the second. When Arrogate, proves that he can win without the perfect trip, I’ll believe, but until then, it’s just congesture.

      • Didn’t Chrome beat Beholder? Surely you consider her great? If you look at what is considered great, Zenyatta, Secretariat, Shared Belief and Pharoah, and the competition just wasn’t that stellar either. There just aren’t a lot of really great horses at any one time.

  • Citation

    I think being lightly raced and well managed has something to do with bouncing back so quickly.

    • Meg Hiers

      Sadly, he is one of the least lightly raced top horses this year…..

      • Citation

        He’s run 9 times in the last 2 years……

        • Meg Hiers

          This year:
          Arrogate has run 6x
          Frosted has run 6x
          Dortmund has run 4x
          Melatonin has run 5x
          Beholder has run 6x
          Stellar Wind has run 4x
          Songbird has run 8x
          Effinex has run 7x
          Shaman Ghost has run 4x
          Keen Ice has run 5x
          Nyquist has run 6x
          Exaggerator has run 9x
          Creator has run 8x
          Flintshire has run 5x
          Tepin has run 8x
          Tourist has run 6x

          And of all these, only Tepin, Beholder, Songbird, Flintshire, and Arrogate ( apart from first race) joined Chrome in consistently running their best in each race.

          • BeastBob

            The spacing is very good for Chrome 7 races in 43 weeks.

          • Lisa Johnson

            and half that list has just retired…

          • Lawrence R

            You forgot the WeinerDogs they only raced once.

  • hougie

    There is no doubt in my mind he could squeeze out another year at a high level. He is due for time off but it seems like this rare battle horse isnt asking for time off or retirement. Its a tempting predicament for ownership but i suppose the mare breeders are getting antsy.

  • FastBernieB

    Historically, there have been very few “great” horses who didn’t “get beat” at some point in their careers. CC is no different in that regard. Arrogate appears to be an exceptional animal based on his last 2 races but I’d like to see a larger body of work before deciding where he fits in on an all time basis. In CC’s case I think his lifetime body of work speaks for itself and regardless of how things play out over the final races of his career he has already achieved “greatness.”

    • togahombre

      historically there have been very few “great” horses, the bar should remain very high for that title

      • FastBernieB

        I agree that the bar should remain high for that title. I think it becomes a bit subjective as we all have our personal bar that we set. Personally, I think we use great more widely than we should. Another level that falls between great and greatest would be useful – maybe near greatest? If you ranked your top 30 horses, the greatest would be number 1, near greatest would be numbers 2 through 10 and great would be 11 to 30. I wonder where people would place CC using this scale. Actually, I wonder what a consensus top 30 would look like.

    • Bev

      Hey, Keen Ice won over American Pharoah in the Travers last year after he won his crown, Onion beat Secretariat the day Secretariat was having an off day., the list goes on and on. It’s all in the timing and when they CAN grab a good moment TO take the lead away. YES, it can happen. I can name off a huge list BUT that does not take away the lead horses accomplishments. it was just GOOD LUCK for the odd horse that won over the champion in that one race, is all. TO be called a Champion…….there’s a lot to prove. Chrome is age 5 and has proven it twice over. He is the real deal. Not just a well rested fluke. AND he hasn’t rested yet. Not until AFTER the Pegasus when he retires. AND he will retire the Champion he proved himself to be. YOU people now a days are used to getting a trophy FOR just entering a completion. NO, that is wrong. To WIN a trophy takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Nothing is just handed to any horse. OR anybody. AND once does not make a Champion. It’s just being called ON THE RIGHT ROAD To become a champion.

      • FastBernieB

        “YOU people now a days are used to getting a trophy FOR just entering a completion.”
        I’m not sure how I got lumped into this group but rest assured that at 68 years of age, when I gaze into my trophy case I know that they were hard earned – both of them.

  • Lehane

    Don’t agree with all that gear on him pre Breeders Cup! Thankfully he was free of it in his most recent workout.

  • Mr J

    Arrogate can get the HOY if they create a race for CC and he enters. Art may insist on 4yo up conditions

  • BeastBob

    California Chrome lost the race (2016 BCC) he had no business of losing. He was loose on the lead for the first mile of a 10f dirt race. He was given a huge breather in the middle 3 splits of the race (1:12.44 seconds). I can’t find another race where a frontrunner lost a 10f dirt race after being allowed a middle 3 split breather of 1:12.44 seconds or slower.

    • togahombre

      it might’ve been his best race ever, he just ran it against the wrong horse

      • redo

        Maybe, but Arrogate had a small advantage that BC day. There was a bias against front runners, and not one won all day. Even though I think Arrogate is a better racehorse, a different outcome could happen if they meet.

        • BeastBob

          For the BC dirt races this year, one was won by a frontrunner (Drefong). One was won by a pace presser (Classic Empire who was right up there with the frontrunner right out of the gate). Another frontrunner lost the race by a nose (Songbird). That’s 3 out of 7. If there was a bias, it was very slight. Unlike the other races, Chrome was loose on the lead for the first mile (not being pressed at all), so that negated all the biases.

      • Carol McFadden

        I love Arrogate but Victor lost this race. Instead of racing against Mike Smith he should have paid better attention to Chrome. Too high in the stirrrups on top of everything else.

  • Neil Augustus

    I think Sherman’s ‘freak of nature’ reference was to his resilience and ability to bounce back after a demanding race. Do not think he was referring to his ability – however, I am sure HE would say it applies to both his fortitude and ability. Certainly his resilience has been seen over the years. Not a huge fan myself, but no denying, he comes to race….

  • Molly Julia

    Let’s Hope Victor Espinoza Does Not Fall Asleep Again On California Chrome For The 2017 Pegasus World Cup At Gulfstream Park?

  • Marilyn Watson

    Don’t you folks know that “red-headed” stallions are always raising the bar? They are smarter, quicker, & have a tremendous sense of humor. They are also very creative in getting what they want. I lived & showed the most amazing chestnut Paso Fino stallion. I said goodbye at 35 1/2 years. I was still riding him up until the last 6 months of his life. He was still carrying me down the road at a canter. Sabio is why I love Chrome so much.

  • Jim Fields

    absolutely NO shellacking, CC should have been sent at the quarter pole, Victor correctly stated he should not have waited until challenged. Anyone who thinks differently, has not ridden enough horse races. CC would still of been ahead by at least two lengths at the sixteenth pole. Arrogate ran a great race, I am not a CC lover, but that should have been CC first and Arrogate a closing second. Both are the best, going into 2017.

    • Carol McFadden

      Very much agree with you.

  • tony a

    Maybe cause he didn’t really get asked to run last time?

  • Molly Julia

    Victor Espinoza Gave Mike Smith The 1/2 Length Down The Stretch?

  • Richard C

    Hyperbole in sports is nothing new — but anything associated with California Chrome pales to the scribes who covered the incredible career of harness racing superstar Dan Patch….one columnist who apparently had an exclusive sit down wrote that the champion was “kindhearted, generous, and a staunch Methodist who never performed on a Sunday.”

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