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CA Chrome: He's the favorite for a reason

November 2, 2016     E-mail this page to a friend!

What do you do when you think a horse is at the top of his game? You enter him in the Breeders' Cup Classic and you work him like the athlete he's proven himself to be.

Art Sherman is a trainer who is on a horseman's ride of a lifetime. His steady, horse-centric approach to conditioning made him California Chrome's original owners' choice to take the young horse to the track. Sherman and his talented staff proved the wisdom of that decision: just check California Chrome's past-performance chart.

The champion has changed ownership, but his new connections didn't mess with success. They kept Sherman at the helm as CC began his 5-year-old campaign. And look where he is now!

The savvy Sherman sent his charge out for a 1 3/4-mile work on Halloween Monday under regular exercise rider and ex-jockey Dihigi Gladney.

"He looks great," said Alan Sherman, assistant trainer and Art Sherman's son. "He had a strong work at Los Alamitos last Thursday, so we'll just gallop him up to the race."

Sure enough, "Chromie" was on the track for a 1 5/8-mile gallop today, now under Art Sherman's watchful eye. Art made sure that his charge had the perks that every superstar expects. He watched California Chrome roll, post-workout, in the sand pit he dug for his superstar when they moved from their Los Alamitos digs to the Breeders' Cup host track.

"He's really the kind of horse you just want to be around. He's got such a presence to himself, and, as you can see, he loves to play."

And the record shows he also loves to run. More and more as he ages.

Says Sherman, "Now, he's got his game face on when he gets to the paddock. He's all business, he knows what he has to do. He brings his 'A' game. From my experience, though, I think horses are at their best when they're 5 years old. Chrome is bigger and stronger than ever.

"And, in my opinion, a mile and a quarter is the best distance for him. He's got natural speed to clear horses, but can be tactical enough to lay behind the speed. He's not one-dimensional ... he'll do whatever Victor (Espinoza) asks of him. I wouldn't trade places with anyone."