Chrome ready for Dubai World Cup assignment
CALIFORNIA CHROME, who carries the hopes of a nation as favourite for Saturday's Dubai World Cup, enjoyed a four-furlong workout on the Meydan dirt on Tuesday morning.
Out early at just after 5am local time, last year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, who was also crowned US Horse of the Year, completed the half-mile in 50 seconds, finishing the last furlong in 11 seconds under Dana Barnes.
Trainer Art Sherman watched the workout with his son and assistant Alan, who said: "He went good and we're ready. He seems to be handling the track great. Willie [Delgado] gallops him over the track every day and said he's handling it.
"He'll walk tomorrow, jog Thursday, then gallop Friday and jog on raceday morning." A best-priced 7-4 chance for the $10 million World Cup, California Chrome has captured the imagination of the racing fraternity, with 135,399 likes on his Facebook page, while his followers are affectionately known as 'Chromies'.
Small-time owner-breeders Steve Coburn and Perry Martin purchased his mare Love The Chase for $8,000 then paid a $2,000 stud fee for Lucky Pulpit, and struck lucky with the resulting progeny as California Chrome's career earnings are already in excess of £2.5m.
Reflecting on the rags-to-riches journey the four-year-old has taken them on, Sherman added: "It's been some ride and a lot of fun. People just love this horse, he's got a big following." Fellow American hope Lea, who is the 7-2 second-favourite, also looked in good shape when working on the dirt.
He finished second behind Constitution in the Donn Handicap last time and Riley Mott, son and assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bill, said: "He really ran a bang-up race in the Donn and came out of it in great shape. We feel like we have great chance."