California Chrome will be scratched from the July 4 Coral-Eclipse at Sundown Park and head back to the United States to prepare for the Arlington Million. The trip to Europe ended up being more of a vacation than anything else as California Chrome never raced in England.
The plan now is to race California Chrome three more times before he retires to stud. The Arlington Million, the Jockey’s Club Gold Cup at Belmont and the Breeders’ Cup Classic are planned as these final three races. California Chrome’s trip to England was marred by a foot bruise and abscess that forced his withdrawal from the Prince of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot. The injury is healing up just fine but with inadequate time to prepare for the Coral-Eclipse the decision was made by co-owner Perry Martin to ship him back to the United States.
California Chrome’s European based trainer Rae Guest told the (UK) Racing Post: “California Chrome is recovering well and we hope to have a shoe back on his foot on Monday. However, we have run out of time to get him ready for the Eclipse and the decision has been made to send him home. Him missing Royal Ascot was a shame for the meeting, a shame for the owners and a shame for racing. It’s been wonderful being associated with the horse and thanks to Art and the owners for thinking of us.”
Chrome is expected to ship back to the United States right around the first of July. He’ll clear quarantine and then begin training for the August 15th Arlington Million at Chicago’s Arlington Park. The Arlington Million is a race for horses three years and older on a 1 1/4 mile turf track. California Chrome won in his only previous start on turf, taking the Grade 1 Pacific Classic late in his three year old campaign. He last raced in late March when he took second place in the Dubai World Cup.
The specific timetable for Chrome’s return to the US has yet to be announced, though the general plans were revealed in a Tweet from Perry Martin earlier today.