California Chrome became the most popular three year old in the nation by winning the Kentucky Derby. Now, he’s training for what would be the biggest payday of his career–the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic is set for November 1st at Santa Anita and on Saturday morning California Chrome and a group of A-list horses including Candy Boy, Beholder and Rich Tapestry in a training session to prepare for the big race. While the majority of the Breeders’ Cup contenders have been trying to get their work in at Santa Anita, California Chrome has continued training at his Los Alamitos home base.
California Chrome went 6 furlongs in 1:12.20 under rider Victor Espinoza. Trainer Art Sherman was pleased with his horse’s effort but didn’t elaborate, saying only that he looked ‘great’. Sherman also indicated that: “It was just what I wanted. He’ll have one more before the Breeders’ Cup.” Los Alamitos head clocker Russ Hudak timed fractions of 24 2/5 and 48 4/5, with a seven-furlong gallop out in 1:25 4/5. Added Hudak: “He picked it up good in the stretch. He looked good.”
One of the challengers that California Chrome may face in Breeders’ Cup Classic is Robert B. Lewis Stakes winner Candy Boy. Candy Boy looked good in his workout at Santa Anita, going six furlongs in 1:10:40 for jockey Corey Nakatani. Trainer John Sadler was pleased and indicated that he and Candy Boy’s other connections will decide Sunday whether to pre-enter the BC Classic: “He worked good. He worked in company and he got a fast three-quarters. We’ll decide by tomorrow (whether to pre-enter on Monday).”
California Chrome will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing sixth place finish in the Pennsylvania Derby. The 2014 Kentucky Derby betting favorite went on to win that race and the Preakness before having his Triple Crown bid derailed at the Belmont. Chrome suffered a minor foot injury in that race and took some time off before getting back to action in the Pennsylvania Derby. He’s currently a +700 co-second favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Classic along with Tonalist and Bayern. The BC Classic will feature a full field of 14 and include the best horses in the world.