California Chrome deemed healthy for Preakness

Fri May 16, 2014 3:46pm EDT
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By Steve Ginsburg

BALTIMORE (Reuters) - Triple Crown hopeful California Chrome was given a clean bill of health for Saturday's Preakness Stakes after being treated for a cough and blister in his throat.

Art Sherman, the Kentucky Derby champion's trainer, said the blister was not a cause for concern for the California-bred Preakness favorite.

"It's not a big deal, as long as their blood comes back good and they eat up everything. It's just something that horses do have," Sherman told reporters on Friday.

"If you scope a lot of horses after a race you're going to see all kinds of little stuff going on. None of them are really perfect.

"Going a mile and a quarter (in the Kentucky Derby), if you scope them afterward, you'll see dirt down their throats. It's just imperative when you race horses."

California Chrome, a heavy 3-5 early line favorite for Saturday's $1.5 million Preakness, coughed after training Thursday morning and was examined by Sherman's veterinarian. The chestnut had a small blister in his throat, similar to the one he had at the Derby in Louisville, Sherman said.

Blood tests were done after the Derby and the colt's airway was scoped. Those exams showed that California Chrome was healthy, according to Sherman Racing spokeswoman Alexis Garske, adding that the colt has neither been scoped nor had his blood tested this week in Maryland.

Revelations about the blister reappearing in the Triple Crown hopeful created a stir but Sherman's son and assistant trainer, Alan Sherman, said the issue was "blown out of proportion."   Continued...

May 15, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; California Chrome gets a bath after  workouts in preparation for the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports