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Blog - RACING

California Chrome gallops at Belmont Park. (Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photos)

Trainer Art Sherman arrived in New York Monday afternoon and visited the track Tuesday to supervise California Chrome’s Belmont Stakes preparations. The colt galloped 2 3/8 miles on the main track at Belmont on a pleasant spring morning.

After winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, the flashy chestnut colt will attempt to become Thoroughbred racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner at New York's Belmont Park on Saturday.

Sherman grew up in New York and formerly competed in the state as a jockey, but he hadn’t visited the city since the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in 2005.

"I haven't been back here for a lot of years, and I rode here years ago," Sherman said. "It's changed quite a bit. I didn't realize it was this big. After you get away from it, it's a huge racetrack. It's beautiful. It's good to be back."

California Chrome schooled in the paddock before venturing to the track to gallop. Sherman was impressed with the colt’s appearance.

CALIFORNIA CHROME'S JUNE 3 GALLOP

"I thought he looked better now than he did after the Preakness," Sherman said. "I couldn't believe how much weight he put on. He really looks good right now. Going on the Triple Crown trail, it's kind of rough. He's an amazing horse."

Sherman reported that he expects the colt to run as a 4-year-old whether or not he completes the Triple Crown sweep.

"We'd like to race him for another year, although I don't know," he said. "Sometimes when you're offered so much money, it's hard to refuse. I think that the owners will sure run him next year, from what I gather. They just got him insured for a lot of money. You don't pay the insurance premium and sell him right away."

POTENTIAL BELMONT STARTERS

Horse

Owner

Trainer

California Chrome

Steven Coburn 
& Perry Martin

Art Sherman

Commanding Curve

West Point Thoroughbreds

Dallas Stewart

Commissioner

WinStar Farm

Todd Pletcher

General a Rod

Starlight Racing

Mike Maker

Matterhorn

Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners

Todd Pletcher

Matuszak

C R K Stable

Bill Mott

Medal Count

Spendthrift Farm

Dale Romans

Ride On Curlin

Daniel J. Dougherty

Billy Gowan

Samraat

My Meadowview Farm

Richard Violette Jr.

Social Inclusion

Rontos Racing Stable

Manny Azpurua

Tonalist

Robert S. Evans

Christophe Clement

Wicked Strong

Centennial Farm

Jimmy Jerkens

Potential spoiler Wicked Strong galloped 1 ½ miles in his first trip to the track since his bullet five-furlong breeze on Sunday. Trainer Jimmy Jerkens was happy with the effort.

"I galloped him at 7 o'clock because I thought it was going to get kind of hot and I didn't want to wait until 9:30 or 10 o'clock like we usually do the first day back after working hard," Jerkens said. "He's doing great."

Preakness eighth-place finisher Kid Cruz will not run in the Belmont after his owners opted for a softer route. Trainer Linda Rice said the colt, owned by Vina Del Mar Thoroughbreds and Black Swan Stable, will instead run in either the $150,000 Easy Goer Stakes on the Belmont undercard or the Grade 3, $200,000 Dywer Stakes on July 5 at Belmont.

"We have decided to pass on the Belmont," said Rice. "Frankly, he didn't perform at Pimlico. It was a flat effort on his part. We'll just look for an easy race for him to get him back on track. It's a long summer."

When asked about California Chrome’s chances to end the 36-year Triple Crown drought, Rice was optimistic.

"I think so. I think he's going to be very hard to beat," Rice said. "This horse has been so dominant, I think there's a good chance we will see it."

Image Description

Christina Moore

A Midwest native, Christina Moore grew up loving horses and racing, leading to her degree in Animal Science from the University of Illinois. She later got her master’s degree at the University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program. Christina interned at Keeneland and Del Mar while also working as a freelance writer before joining the America’s Best Racing team in March 2014.

Image Description

Christina Moore

A Midwest native, Christina Moore grew up loving horses and racing, leading to her degree in Animal Science from the University of Illinois. She later got her master’s degree at the University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program. Christina interned at Keeneland and Del Mar while also working as a freelance writer before joining the America’s Best Racing team in March 2014.

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