Derby (G1) winner California Chrome is headed to the 139th running of
the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, May 17,
bringing trainer Art Sherman back to Maryland for the first time in 55
Photo: Mike Kane, Maryland Jockey Club
confirmed his plans to run the Lucky Pulpit colt in the Middle Jewel of
the Triple Crown during a Sunday morning phone call with Maryland
Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas and two other Preakness officials.
Pimlico officials traditionally call the winner of the Kentucky Derby to
extend a formal invitation to come to Baltimore.
“He came out of the race and looks really good,” Sherman said.
he likes to give his horses plenty of time between races, Sherman said
he expects that Steven Coburn and Perry Martin’s homebred colt will be
ready for the Preakness.
weeks, I’ve never run him back that quick,” Sherman said. “I’m not that
kind of guy. I thought even a month after the Santa Anita Derby to the
Kentucky Derby was kind of quick. but he seems to respond and come
Chrome won the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby by 1 3/4 lengths
with a very professional performance under veteran jockey Victor
Espinoza. They sat behind the early pacesetters, Chitu and Uncle Sigh,
for three quarters of a mile, moved up to contend for the lead in the
second turn and kicked away from the others at the top of the stretch.
It was his fifth consecutive victory.
Derby starters - runner-up Commanding Curve and seventh-place finisher
Ride on Curlin - are candidates to face California Chrome again in the
Wesley Ward said Pablo Del Monte is definitely on course to the
Preakness and four other new shooters are considered probable. That
group consists of Federico Tesio winner Kid Cruz, trained by Linda Rice;
Illinois Derby (G3) winner Dynamic Impact, trained by Mark Casse; Hall
of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s Bayern, who was disqualified and placed
second for interference after finishing first in the Derby Trial (G3);
and Social Inclusion, who was third in the Wood Memorial (G1) in his
only try in a graded stakes.
Inclusion’s owner Ron Sanchez said Sunday that the colt’s foot bruise
that kept him out of yesterday’s Sir Bear Stakes at Gulfstream Park was
improved and he is planning to ship to Baltimore on Thursday, May 8.
Graham Motion said Sunday West Point’s Ring Weekend, winner of the
Tampa Bay Derby (G3) is “50-50” for the race. Ring Weekend came down
with a fever last week and did not make the Derby.
D. Wayne Lukas, who earned his sixth Preakness victory last year with
Oxbow, is considering Strong Mandate. The son of Tiznow, who finished
third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) last year, has not run since an
eighth place finish in the Arkansas Derby (G1).
Todd Pletcher did not commit any of his four Kentucky Derby starters to
the Preakness. Pletcher reported that he is “going to get them back to
Belmont and give it a few days.”
Del Monte earned a spot in the Derby field, but Ward opted not to start
him from the outside post position and scratched. The speedy
third-place finisher in the Blue Grass (G1) worked six furlongs in
1:10.80 at Keeneland Sunday and Ward said the colt is Baltimore-bound.
so excited, we can’t even stand ourselves,” Ward said. “Yeah, I’m
going. I’ve already booked the flight for my horse on the Wednesday
before the Preakness.”
off at odds of 37-1, West Point Thoroughbreds’ Commanding Curve rallied
from 11th at the top of the stretch to finish second. It was the second
year in a row that a long shot trained by Dallas Stewart picked up the
second-place money. Last year, Stewart did not send Golden Soul to the
Preakness, but he said Sunday that Commanding Curve is a prospect for
Maryland’s signature race.
"We will see how he is. If he is OK, he'll run; if he is not, he won't,” Stewart said.
Billy Gowan noted that Ride on Curlin had a tough trip under jockey
Calvin Borel. The first-time Derby trainer with a four-horse stable
pointed to a small amount of feed that Ride On Curlin didn't eat
pretty good after racing a mile and a quarter,'' Gowan said. "He looks
good. It was just bad racing luck, bad post position. But he's one
tough horse. You've got to be proud of him. When he did get clear, he
did come running, so that's all you can ask, really.''
Gowan confirmed that Ride On Curlin is a strong candidate for the Preakness.
see,'' he said. "If he bounces out of these races like he has been,
I’m going to the Preakness. We'll just see. He's tough, so I expect him
to bounce out of it good. We'll definitely consider it.''
Impact, a son of Tiznow owned by John Oxley, has won his last two
starts. He broke his maiden on March 1 at Oaklawn Park and won the
Illinois Derby on April 14 at Hawthorne Park in Chicago. Dynamic Impact
breezed five furlongs in 1:00.20 at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
have to still talk with Mr. Oxley about it,” trainer Mark Casse said
Sunday. “We said we’d discuss it after the Derby, but we were really
pleased with his work Saturday. I would say there is a more likely than
not chance that we’d be going.”
plans to keep California Chrome at Churchill Downs before sending him
to Baltimore. Preakness officials are working with Sherman to develop a
plan to ship California Chrome to Pimlico on Monday, May 12.
days at Pimlico would be perfect for me,” Sherman said. “That way I
wouldn’t have to do much with him. Just school him, stand him in the
gate and let him get familiarized with the surroundings.”
is based in California and said he has not been to Maryland since he
rode at the old Bowie Race Course in 1959. Sherman said he rode a few
races at Laurel during his 23-year career as a jockey, but has never
been to Pimlico Race Course.
he set a record as the oldest Derby-winning trainer, Sherman, 77, is
not in contention to claim that record in the Preakness: “Sunny Jim”
Fitzsimmons was 82 when Bold Ruler won in 1957.
by the throng of media Sunday, Sherman grinned as he reflected on
California Chrome’s Derby victory, the first by a California-bred horse
since Decidedly in 1962.
pretty cool, I can tell you,” he said. “You wake up in the morning and
say, ‘Hey, wait a minute, I just won the Kentucky Derby.’ It’s a dream
come true for me. I’ve been in the game for so long. It’s one of those
things that is very rare; I never had the big stable or the money people
behind me, just mom and pop operations and people that were always good
have a lot of partnerships in horses with different people, so it’s a
different ballgame for me. Beating all the big boys and maybe they had
their doubts that this horse wasn’t a runner - you hear, ‘Oh, he didn’t
look good on the track’ - but when you run against him you find out.
He’s the real McCoy, this one.”
Delgado guided Forest Justice to victory in the Sunday opener at
Pimlico. The 49-year-old, who finished second in the 1995 Preakness
aboard Oliver’s Twist, rode California Chrome to two victories last
year. His brother, Willie, is the exercise rider for the Derby winner.
haven’t talked to my brother yet,” Delgado said. “It is bittersweet. We
knew he was a good horse all along. When I broke his maiden (May 17,
2013), I told them he would win the Derby. That how nice he was. I am
happy for the connections. They are really good people. I hope they win
the Preakness and the Belmont and think they will.”