California Chrome, who on June 7th will attempt to become thoroughbred racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner when he competes in the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes, arrived at Belmont Park at approximately 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday.
The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner was led into barn 26 by assistant trainer Alan Sherman, walked the shed row briefly, and posed for the media on the lawn before settling in his stall.
“He likes to stand out here and pose,” said Alan Sherman. “He loves to get his picture taken. He’s a very inquisitive horse. He’s always checking out what’s going on around him. He actually been so straightforward to train, he’s made our jobs easy.”
California Chrome, a 3-year-old son of Lucky Pulpit, is trained by Art Sherman for Steven Coburn and Perry Martin. He has won six straight races, including the Derby by 1 ¾ lengths and the Preakness by 1 ½ lengths. No horse has swept the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978.
“This means the world to all of us,” said Alan Sherman. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s been an unbelievable ride for us. It’s hard to describe. It’s just been so much fun. This horse has taken us on the ride of our lives. This is the first time we’ve had a horse in any of these types of races. We’ve run a horse in the Breeders’ Cup but none of the Triple Crown races. I’m so proud of my dad for him to be able to do this towards the end of his career. He’s very deserving.”
“I think the industry could really use a Triple Crown winner right now, especially with a story like this,” the assistant trainer added. “This horse didn’t cost a ton of money to buy him or breed him. It’s kind of a feel-good story. This goes to show you never know what can happen in this game. This is what makes us get up every morning. You get the young horses every year and every year you hope you get a horse like this. It’s finally come our way. We’re enjoying it.”
California Chrome is tentatively scheduled to train on the main track at 6:45 a.m. daily. Alan Sherman then will be available at 8:15 a.m. at a special press briefing area next to the Belmont Café at the east end of the grandstand by the clubhouse entrance.
“We’ll gallop him up to the Saturday before the Belmont and then probably breeze him an easy half-mile and then just jog and gallop into the race,” said Alan Sherman.
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