California Chrome Has Exercise Rider Raving After Belmont Gallop
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — California Chrome galloped two miles at Belmont Park on Tuesday, with the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner preparing for the final leg of the Triple Crown.
And his team was raving about the workout.
Assistant trainer Alan Sherman said California Chrome was especially eager, noticeably tugging at him in the barn and then exercise rider Willie Delgado during the gallop.
“He was feeling really good today,” said Sherman. “He’s on it.”
Delgado said it was hard to resist letting the chestnut colt go faster. He said California Chrome seems to like the track’s deep and sandy surface.
“I can tell you he loves this track, and I don’t see him any problem getting a mile and a half,” Delgado said. “This is the strongest I’ve felt about him winning a race. I said it before, if he wins the Derby, we’ll probably go all the way. He’s starting to show he can go over this track very easy.”
Sherman said the colt is scheduled for his only official timed workout before the Belmont on Saturday.
“He was galloping good and strong today,” he said. “I was happy about it.”
California Chrome is set to run in the 1 ½-mile race on June 7. No horse has swept the Derby, Preakness and Belmont since Affirmed in 1978.
“It takes a special horse to be able to do it,” Sherman said. “There have only been 11 of them. It would be nice to be number 12, but we’re not going to count our chickens before they hatch so to speak. But I wouldn’t want to be in anybody else’s shoes.”
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