California Chrome arrives at Santa Anita Park for Breeders’ Cup

CC shed row smallThere was lots of excitement at Santa Anita for such an early morning. Santa Anita Park reports that the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner created lots of buzz as he arrived at Santa Anita Park for Breeders’ Cup. Ed Golden wrote this story:

Arriving at Santa Anita moments before a magenta sunrise that would have inspired van Gogh, California Chrome nestled in comfortably at Barn 56 Sunday morning after an uneventful trip from his Los Alamitos headquarters and with less than a week to prepare for perhaps the most important race of his career, the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic next Saturday.

“He travels great,” said Alan Sherman, a trainer in his own right who rides shotgun for his father and the 3-year-old colt’s trainer, Art Sherman. “The horse worked yesterday so he walked today, jogs tomorrow, gallops into the race from there and we’ll school him in the paddock Thursday and Friday morning.

“You couldn’t ask for anything more from yesterday’s work (five furlongs in 59.60 at Los Alamitos). It was probably the best work I’ve ever seen him have.”

Unbeaten 3-year-old Shared Belief is also Classic-bound, with Horse of the Year and male Three-Year-Old of the Year potentially on the line, but a victory for California Chrome could have even further significance—as a stallion. Shared Belief is a gelding.

“I don’t know what the future holds beyond this race,” Sherman said. “I read the other day on Facebook from (co-owner/breeder) Perry Martin that he was going to retire him if he doesn’t run well. If it were up to me, I’d run him as a 4-year-old.”

Whatever the scenario, Alan Sherman has enjoyed the ride with his 77-year-old father, the oldest trainer ever to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

“It’s been awesome,” Alan said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”

Ditto for Art, as this interview excerpt from the August-September issue of AARP magazine attests: “Do younger rivals give this great-grandpa guff about his age?” ‘Are you kidding?’ he asks. ‘They’d love to know what I know.’ . . . In life, ‘You never know what’s going to happen. Just keep your head down and keep going.’”