2014 Kentucky Derby California Chrome shown a penchant for ‘traveling well’ during his abortive run at the Triple Crown. He’s now embarked upon the longest trip of his career–he’s one of 16 US based horses that made the 19 hour trip to Dubai earlier this week. Chrome will be racing in the $10 million Dubai World Cup next Saturday.
Alan Sherman, son of and assistant trainer to Art Sherman, said that nothing he’d experienced in his career had prepared him for the long journey: ““It’s different, I’ll say that.” When asked about California Chrome he responded: “He seems to be good. He’s a good traveler, and he’s in good shape.”
California Chrome is one of two US based horses that will start in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (the 6 year old Bill Mott trained Lea is the other). Two horses are vying to become the first US bred competitors ever to win the big turf races–Main Sequence will run in the $6 million Sheema Classic while the Todd Pletcher trained Mshawish will race in the $6 million Dubai Turf (he finished 4th in the race last year). Three US horses will compete in the Golden Shaheen with Secret Circle, Salutos Amigos, and Big Macher.
US based horses used to rule the Dubai World Cup it its former venue, Nad Al Sheba which had a dirt track. It was replaced by the current venue of Meydan Race Course and since then only one US horse has taken the event–Animal Kingdom in 2013. Meydan used a synthetic surface from its opening until last year but that has been replaced by a sand based dirt track. This is a hopeful sign for California Chrome since horses with front running speed have been very strong.
According to trainer Sherman, Chrome will work out only once before the race: “Today, we just jogged for about 10 minutes on the training track, which is only about an eighth of a mile around. He’ll gallop on the main track Saturday, and I’ll breeze him on Tuesday or Wednesday. We’ll just work him a half-mile, and if he goes in 49 [seconds], that will be fine.”