California Chrome will not race in Japan according to co owner Perry Martin

2014 Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome

2014 Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome

We had heard a few rumors that California Chrome might go to Japan for the Japan Cup on December 7th at Chukyo Racecourse this year but it appears that no – they won’t according to “The Blood- Horse”.

California Chrome co-owner Perry Martin told “The Blood-Horse” last Friday that the colt is likely not going to race for the rest of the 2014 season.

Martin also said that he and co-owner Steve Coburn had seriously considering a Japan trip but backed off plans upon learning that the horse could not run with his nasal strip in Japan. If you remember, the same issue came up in New York prior to the Belmont Stakes before racing officials there allowed the use of nasal strips.

“I was really excited about Japan as I thought it would be a great international showcase for ‘Chrome since the majority of the breeding inquiries are from Japan,” Martin said. “We need to confirm that he can run well without medication and doing that sooner, rather than later, would be best.

“In assessing the opportunity, there are many small problems running in Japan that affect the safety of the horse such as no assistant starters in the gate,” Martin added. “The biggest, to me, was no nasal strips. I believe that nasal strips do reduce the occurrence and severity of (pulmonary) bleeding and contribute significantly to the prolonged health of the horse.

“For that reason we will not run in jurisdictions that prohibit their use. I asked the JRA to use the strips in Japan and they said no. That is that.”

Martin went on to say the horse would not run in the Clark Handicap on November 28th at Churchill Downs, either. The Clark has been touted in some circles as potentially a deciding race in what is a muddled Horse of the Year picture.

“I really don’t think we have a chance at HOY,” Martin said. “Every good performance seems to be marginalized by the press and poor performances get promoted as proof. Since they are the voters it seems clear. Anyway it’s out of my control and I’m not going to worry about it.”

Martin confirmed that California Chrome would return to race as a 4-year-old in 2015. He said he expected California Chrome to run six or seven times next year, adding, “I don’t see Chrome running for less than $1 million.”

Though no schedule has been mapped out, Martin said the Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest race at $10 million March 28 at Meydan Racecourse, “is in play.”

“We want to try him on the grass and that race will probably be the Arlington Million ,” he added. “Art Sherman has had good luck there and I grew up there (in the Chicago area), so it would be nice to run in front of family and friends. The Breeders’ Cup Classic in Lexington is the end of year goal.”