NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome galloped his usual 2 miles at Belmont Park on Wednesday, and new horses are lining up to challenge his Triple Crown bid in the Belmont Stakes.
Assistant trainer Alan Sherman said the chestnut colt looked “really strong” in his latest workout.
California Chrome will try to become racing’s first Triple Crown winner in 36 years when he runs in the Belmont on June 7.
“He’s fit,” exercise rider Willie Delgado said. “Come the day of the race, like I always said, it’s all up to him and God. I can’t say enough. He’s really, really improving. Like I’ve always said, after each race he got better.”
The field for the 1½-mile race has added three horses: Matterhorn, Matuszak and Medal Count, who was eighth in the Derby. Matterhorn and Matuszak are newcomers to the Triple Crown trail.
Other probables are Derby runner-up Commanding Curve, Commissioner, Preakness runner-up Ride On Curlin, Samraat, Tonalist, and Wicked Strong, who was fourth in the Derby. Kid Cruz, eighth in the Preakness, is a possibility. Samraat was fifth in the Derby, while Commissioner and Tonalist are newcomers to the Triple Crown races.
“It’s going to be a tough race,” Sherman said. “They’re all good horses.”
California Chrome is scheduled for his only official workout before the Belmont on Saturday, with jockey Victor Espinoza coming in from Southern California.
“All we have to do is just do our thing and have him run his race and I think we’ll be all right,” Sherman said.
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