There is a Kentucky Derby contender in the house.
Trained by Art Sherman, California Chrome is stabled and trains at Los Alamitos Race Course and following a 7 ¼ length victory in the San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16th at Santa Anita, he is a legitimate Kentucky Derby contender. California Chrome was so impressive in the San Felipe that track announcer Trevor Denman called it a walkover. His victory also caught the eye of noted Daily Racing Form columnist Dick Jerardi, who featured the dazzling California Chrome with a piece in the March 14 edition of DRF.
Jerardi described California Chrome as “sensational” in the California Cup Derby and “dazzling” in the King Glorious. Jerardi would wrap up the story by stating that: “We still have almost two months to the Derby, and so much can still happen. But on this day, California Chrome is my horse.”
Following the San Felipe, California Chrome returned to his new home at Los Alamitos. He stood regal and attentive in his stall on Monday morning while awaiting the next step in his road to the Kentucky Derby.
“We’ll walk him for a three days and then gallop him five days before his next workout,” Sherman said on Monday. “He's such an easy going horse. He walked this morning. He's doing great."
If California Chrome makes one more start in California prior to traveling to Churchill Downs, then the prestigious Santa Anita Derby is the race for the son of Lucky Pulpit.
Sherman, meanwhile, had a racing day to remember last Saturday night. Following the San Felipe, Sherman and a group of about 20 friends traveled down the 605 South to Los Alamitos Race Course from Santa Anita just in time for Sherman to send out the Ed Allred-owned Atascaderan in a Thoroughbred race at the Orange County oval. Atascaderan got the job done and Sherman was back celebrating with his friends in the Los Alamitos winner’s circle (photo above).
“It was a great day,” Sherman said.
Trainer Bob Baffert was a guest on the Roger Stein Radio Show on Sunday. The Hall of Fame conditioner, who also has a string of horses training at Los Alamitos Race Course, had nothing but great things to say about California Chrome and also the racing surface here.
“(California Chrome) is the real deal,” Baffert said. “I was worried about him going into the San Felipe. We couldn’t get past that horse.”
Regarding the Los Alamitos dirt track, this is what Baffert had to say:
“I think it's a plus, that surface, there are not many horses on it. It's really soft. I send a lot of horses down there (Los Al). When they come over, they're fit. They get sounder down there. It's a big plus."