Breeders' Cup - At The Races


California Chrome
  • Trainer: Art Sherman
  • Likely Jockey: Victor Espinoza
  • Owner: California Chrome LLC
  • Age & Breeding: 5-year-old horse; Lucky Pulpit – Love The Chase
  • Season Form Figures: 111111
  • Career Highlight: Training on to record impressive victories as a 5yo

What an incredible career it's been for California Chrome. From his humble beginnings to his impressive run as a three-year-old to the mishap of his four-year-old campaign to this year's mastery, California Chrome is one of the best stories at the 2016 Breeders' Cup. He's already the all-time North American money earner – he’s won over $13 million USD - and he stands to improve that total significantly on the first Saturday in November.
As a Kentucky Derby winner, he was impressive but not inspiring. He went on to win easily in the Preakness and he only missed winning the Triple Crown by two lengths. He ran well once again in the Breeders' Cup of 2014, though he appeared to hang late, once again giving his critics something to chew on.
He redeemed himself late in his three-year-old year with a win in a decidedly weak Grade 1 on the turf at Del Mar, a win that had certain members of his connections dreaming at a run at Royal Ascot in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes.
But first was a stopover in Dubai, where he ran a respectable second in the world's richest race. From there it was off to England but the Ascot run never happened. California Chrome was transferred - albeit temporarily - from trainer Art Sherman to Rae Guest's yard at Newmarket. He didn't take to England, and a bruised foot sent him home.
Back in Sherman's care, at his home base at Los Alamitos in California, California Chrome has blossomed as a five-year-old. So few Kentucky Derby winners are still racing at five, but California Chrome's modest breeding has kept him in action. And he's trained on in a big way. He won the San Pasqual in January before shipping to Dubai to win both a prep race and the World Cup itself.
Returning to the USA, his form continued to improve. He won the San Diego, the Pacific Classic, and the Awesome Again, all in style. He was geared down at the end of the Awesome Again and still ran an impressive figure.
California Chrome is eligible for an additional $1 million bonus should he go on to win the Breeders' Cup Classic. You wouldn't want to be the outfit on the hook for the policy. He is a push-button horse, fast enough to make the lead if he needs or sit just off a rival intent on the front. His ability to really see out his races is another attribute. Put it all together and you don't just have a great story, you have a very likely winner. California Chrome is a clear and deserving favorite who would represent value at anything around even money or better.