California Chrome was ‘Lost in the Fog’ for his workout

California-Chrome-fog Maryland smallCalifornia Chrome could barely been seen through the fog during his morning workout at Los Alamitos Race Track last Saturday.

Trainer Art Sherman said, “I’ve got—something. He was striding out down the lane and looked like a big train to me. That makes my morning, when I can see him run. What a difference. Down the lane, he looked perfect and the gallop out was really strong.”

California Chrome did his morning workout at 5:30 AM, his usual private training session time.
The workout is in preparation for the San Diego Handicap on July 23 at Del Mar Race Course near San Diego, CA.

“Each week, he’s going faster,” Sherman said. “You can just see the steady clip on him. He’s like a big train. He does everything so easy, but that’s what good horses do. They make it look effortless.”

Art Sherman has always downplayed his role in training California Chrome, saying “This horse is my California rock star. I’m just his manager.”

Sherman’s first exposure to a Kentucky Derby horse was in 1955, when at 18 he worked for Rex Ellsworth and was the exercise rider of that year’s Kentucky Derby winner Swaps. Kentucky Derby Tours and Swaps shared a train back from the 1955 Kentucky Derby from Louisville to Los Angeles. During the trip, the connections whitewashed the train car saying “Swaps, 1955 Kentucky Derby winner”. At small and large stops across the country, people came out and cheered to see the winner (remember this is the era where everyone traveled by train car and the train stations were where many celebrities waved to fans from the train).

Art Sherman was a professional jockey from 1957 until 1979, when he turned to training racehorses. California Chrome was the first Kentucky Derby prospect that Sherman had trained. His assistant is his son, Alan, who is also a licensed trainer.

Unlike many California Thoroughbred trainers usually are headquartered at Santa Anita Park, the Shermans kept their horses at Hollywood Park. When Hollywood Park closed in December 2013, Los Alamitos Race Course picked up some of the Thoroughbred races and racing trainers who had stabled horses there, including Sherman Training Stables.