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California Chrome Leaves Pimlico For A Date With Destiny
BALTIMORE, 05-20-14---Dual classic winner California Chrome left Pimlico Race Course at 6:14 a.m. for what is expected to be a 4-hour van ride to Elmont, NY. Trained by 77-year-old Art Sherman, California Chrome is eligible to become Thoroughbred racing’s 12th Triple Crown champion in the 146th running of the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) June 7 at Belmont Park.
“He looks great,” assistant trainer Alan Sherman said 45 minutes before the California Chrome boarded the Brook Ledge van. “I just went in there checking on him and he was biting me and pushing me around. He licked the bottom of his feed tub clean, so he ready to go.”
The modestly bred California-bred colt will seek to join the company of Triple Crown champions Affirmed (1978), Seattle Slew (1977), Secretariat (1973), Citation (1948), Assault (1946), Count Fleet (1943),Whirlaway (1941), War Admiral (1937), Omaha (1935), Gallant Fox (1930) and Sir Barton (1919).
California Chrome followed up his May 3 Kentucky Derby (G1) victory with a 1 ½ length score in the Preakness Stakes (G1) Saturday afternoon.
“It is just an amazing experience,” added Sherman. “Every time I watch the Preakness replay I darn near cry. It has been a great experience. None of these horses have run a mile and a half so it is an unknown for everybody. This horse has a high cruising speed and I think he’ll be fine but the track at Belmont is completely different than it is here at Pimlico or Churchill. I know one thing, he will try hard.”
California Chrome was led out of the Preakness stakes barn by exercise rider Willie Delgado. After posing for pictures, he boarded without incident at 6:04 a.m.
“I think he enjoyed the couple days of relaxation,” Sherman said. “I probably don’t realize how big of a zoo it is going to be up there in New York. I have never gone through anything like this.”
Preakness runner-up Ride On Curlin accompanied California Chrome on the trip leaving Social Inclusion as the only remaining Preakness runner left on the grounds. He is expected to depart for New York Sunday.
About Pimlico Race Course
Historic Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness® Stakes, the middle jewel in horse racing's famed Triple Crown, first opened its doors on October 25, 1870, and is the second oldest racetrack in the United States. Pimlico has played host to racing icons and Baltimoreans have seen the likes of legendary horses such as Man o’ War, Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Affirmed and Cigar thunder down the stretch in thrilling and memorable competition. For more information on Pimlico, visit www.pimlico.com.
Pimlico Race Course is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida and is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world's largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horse racing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horse racing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.