Chrome Visits Starting Gate, Gallops


California Chrome the morning of May 30. (Photo by Lauren King/NYRA)

A day after schooling in the Belmont Park paddock, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome schooled in the starting gate on Friday in preparation for his bid to sweep the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes on June 7.

The Lucky Pulpit colt visited the starting gate at about 6:40 a.m. Friday before galloping on the main track at Belmont. With New York Racing Association Inc. starter Roy Williamson supervising, California Chrome was loaded into a stall in the starting gate on the backstretch, where he stood quietly for several moments with his hind end pressing against the back of the gate.


“He was perfect in the gate,” said Alan Sherman, assistant trainer to his father, Art Sherman, who conditions California Chrome. “I just wanted [the gate crew] to make sure he's square; he has a tendency to spread his front feet when he's in the gate. My main concern is that he stays square. I may take him another time next week.”

After being led out, California Chrome completed his daily gallop under exercise rider Willie Delgado, going a little less than 1 ½ miles — a slightly shorter gallop than previous mornings this week.

On Saturday, California Chrome will tune up for the Belmont Stakes with an official workout. The chestnut colt is set to breeze four furlongs (a half-mile) at 6:30 a.m. with regular rider Victor Espinoza aboard, according to Alan Sherman.

“He's ready to work; he's climbing out of his skin right now,” Sherman said. “Once Victor [Espinoza] gets on him he'll know it's time to work.”





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