CALIFORNIA CHROME BACK HOME AT LOS ALAMITOS
About six hours after he left Taylor Made Farm in Nicholasville, Ky., California Chrome was back at his Los Alamitos home.
The 2014 Horse of the Year - and North America’s richest thoroughbred after his March 26 victory in the $10-million Dubai World Cup - arrived around 4 p.m. Sunday at the stable of trainer Art Sherman after a van ride from LA/Ontario International Airport.
“He looks great,’’ said Sherman as the 5-year-old son of Lucky Pulpit was being walked around near the barn by his son and assistant trainer Alan. “It feels so good to have him back.’’
Sherman said California Chrome, whose resume includes 12 victories – including the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness – in 21 starts and $12,532,650 in earnings, would tack walk Monday and probably return to the track Tuesday.
The target for California Chrome’s next start is the $200,000-guaranteed San Diego Handicap Saturday, July 23 at Del Mar. The Grade II is run at 1 1/16 miles and serves as a prep for the Grade I, $1 million-guaranteed TVG Pacific Classic, which will be offered Saturday, Aug. 20.
LOS ALAMITOS CONCLUDES SUCCESSFUL SPRING MEET
Brad McKinzie, vice president and general manager of the Los Alamitos Racing Association, said the inaugural Spring Thoroughbred meet, which concluded Sunday, exceeded expectations.
“It outperformed what we expected, especially this last week,’’ said McKinzie of the 12-day season, which began Thursday, April 14. “The California Chrome Stakes (run April 30), which we had received some skepticism about why we were devoting purse money towards a $150,000 race turned out to be probably the best betting race we’ve run here and the horse (Uncle Lino) who won it is now looking at the (May 21) Preakness.
“That’s exactly what we are hoping to do. Keep adding bricks to the wall of establishing Los Alamitos as a national thoroughbred meet.
“We couldn’t be happier with the way things went. We’ve shown we can run a successful Spring meet and a successful Summer meet (referring to the July Thoroughbred Festivals in2014 and 2015).
“(Los Alamitos owner and president) Dr. (Edward) Allred has always said whatever is best for the Southern California racing circuit is where Los Alamitos wants to be (on the racing calendar). He’s very, very enthusiastic after this meet and is looking at a long term commitment to thoroughbred racing at Los Alamitos.’’
Business figures for the Spring meet will be available later in the week.
Besides Uncle Lino’s gritty victory over Rare Candy in the California Chrome, the racing highlight of the Spring was an 8-1 upset victory by Finest City in the Grade II, $200,690 Great Lady M. Stakes, giving trainer Ian Kruljac his first graded victory. It was also the third of four wins on the program for Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, who captured the Spring riding title.
There will be two more meets at Los Alamitos in 2016.
The Fall season will begin Thursday, Sept. 8 and continue through Sunday, Sept. 25 while the Winter meet will begin Thursday, Dec. 8 and wrap Sunday, Dec. 18.
THE CALIFORNIA CHROME STAKES