There’s not a more famous race horse in the country right now than Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome. He’s currently training for a return to racing competition and on Thursday trainer Art Sherman announced his next race: the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia’s Parx Race Track.
California Chrome has already experienced a very busy summer. He was the Kentucky Derby betting favorite and won that race and the Preakness Stakes before falling short in the Belmont in his bid for the Triple Crown. Since then he’s taken some well deserved time off but has been preparing for a return to competition with the eventual goal being the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on November 1. The original plan was for Chrome to run in a graded stakes race in Southern California–reportedly at Los Alamitos–but that has apparently changed with the Pennsylvania Derby being chosen as the ‘warm up’ race for the Breeders’ Cup.
Trainer Art Sherman explained the decision to ship California Chrome back East–it was a combination of perfect scheduling (September 20, 2014) and a nice payday for the winner. California Chrome has already won in excess of $3.5 million this year but another 7 figure payday would still be welcomed. Sherman says that the Kentucky Derby winner will ship to Pennsylvania on September 15 and stay in Barn 10 at Parx. Barn 10 is currently occupied by the horses of trainer Keith Nations, a friend of Sherman’s.
The ‘tune up’ race for Chrome came down to the Pennsylvania Derby and the September 27 Awesome Again at Santa Anita. The Awesome Again has a purse of $350,000 and Sherman admits that the money was the most important factor. In addition to the larger purse Sherman and California Chrome’s owners will each receive $100,000 from a bonus program instituted by the race track.
Sherman said that Chrome is still not back to a full training regimen and that he’s currently working just one day a week. That pace will increase as the Pennsylvania Derby gets closer with the goal to have him back in championship form by the November 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic. California Chrome is currently a 7/1 choice to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic in the Wynn Las Vegas futures betting market.