California Chrome looks 'great' at Pimlico

Tue May 13, 2014 4:35pm EDT
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By Steve Ginsburg

BALTIMORE (Reuters) - California Chrome should be able to handle any roadblocks thrown at him during Saturday's Preakness States, whether it's a bad post position, poor weather or a rough trip, his handlers said on Tuesday.

With exercise rider Willie Delgado in the saddle, the Kentucky Derby champion and Preakness favorite tested the Pimlico Race Course track for the first time on Tuesday.

"He jogged and he was great," said assistant trainer Alan Sherman. "He stood out there for a while, just looked around and took it all in. He's a really curious horse.

"He likes to look around a lot and check out the surroundings. He was good. He was really good."

The colt's trainer, 77-year-old Art Sherman, Alan's father, has been tending to the rest of his stable in Southern California since the May 3 Derby. He was set to join Alan at Pimlico late Tuesday.

Alan Sherman said California Chrome should enjoy an easier ride in the 10-horse Preakness than he had in the Derby, which featured a field of 19.

He added, however, that jockey Victor Espinoza should be ready for anything during the 1 3/16-mile trip on Saturday.

"You're not going to get the traffic problems, hopefully, but then again you can get in traffic problems in a four-horse race," he said. "But it's not (like in the Derby), by any means.   Continued...

May 13, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; California Chrome is given a bath after his morning work  in preparation for the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports