A good friend & colleague of ours, Barkley Porter, was behind the scenes with California Chrome at the Kentucky Derby. Barkley was at Churchill helping with the Flair Equine Nasal Strip Application. Barkley claims that California Chrome is quite the mischievous character. While getting this picture, California Chrome locked in Barkley’s ring began a game of tug of war. Ha, Ha. You got to love it.
As most of us are aware the 139th Preakness, the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, will be this up and coming Saturday, May 17, 2014. California Chrome left for Pimlico Track this past Monday. And Tuesday morning, Exercise rider Willie Delgado took the big chestnut out for a light jog and tour of the one-mile course to just get acclimated to the track. Assistant trainer Alan Sherman, who has managed the horse since the Derby while his father, Art, tended to the rest of the stable in Southern California commented: “He stood out there for a while, just looked around and took it all in. He’s a really curious horse. He likes to look around a lot and check out the surroundings. He was good. He was really good.” Art Sherman, the trainer, is scheduled to arrive late Tuesday afternoon.
The Preakness will be a slightly shorter test at 1 3/16th miles with 10 likely starters. The Field will consist of Only two of the 18 horses that California Chrome beat at Churchill Downs on May 3rd & 7 “new shooters.” When Alan Sherman was asked about this Saturday’s Race he replied, “…All Victor has to do is squeeze on him a little bit and he can keep himself out of trouble.” When someone asked him what the worst possible scenario might be, Alan Sherman grinned and said, “Losing.” Sherman understood that the question was about race dynamics and quickly said the colt’s versatility would enable Espinoza to ride the race as it develops. “If they go too slow in front, he’ll take it right to them and push the horses in front of him. If they are going fast in front, he can just sit off the pace,” he said. “That’s the good thing about him – that he doesn’t have one style of running. He’s pretty push-button. If you ask him he’ll do it.”
Our Last Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978. I wonder what this Saturday might bring us? Will we be one race closer to our next Triple Crown Winner? Stay tuned as the Triple Crown Frenzy Continues …