From a Maryland Jockey Club release
Trainer Art Sherman arrived at Pimlico Race Course Tuesday afternoon, reuniting with California Chrome, his Kentucky Derby winner and likely heavy favorite for Saturday’s 139th running of the Preakness Stakes (G1).
The 77-year-old Sherman, who became the oldest trainer to saddle a Kentucky Derby winner at Churchill Downs on May 3, had taken a break from the 2014 Triple Crown campaign on May 5 while tending to his Southern California-based stable.
“He looks great,” said Sherman after greeting the chestnut colt in Stall 40 at the Preakness Stakes Barn, the traditional spot reserved each year for the Kentucky Derby winner. “He’s holding his weight, which is one of the big factors.”
Sherman enjoyed a hero’s welcome when he returned to Los Alamitos Race Course, which will hold a thoroughbred meeting this season in the absence of racing at the shuttered Hollywood Park.
“When I went back to Los Alamitos, where his home base is, on the marquee, it said, ‘California Chrome, Home of the Kentucky Derby Winner.’ It was really cool,” Sherman said. “It’s very exciting to have a Derby horse. You think you maybe have a shot for the Triple Crown. You don’t know. I’m the kind of guy who goes race by race, but I wouldn’t want to be in anyone else’s shoes.”
California Chrome, who became the first California-bred horse to win the Run for the Roses in 52 years, would be the fifth horse bred in the Golden State with a victory Saturday, joining Snow Chief (1986), Candy Spots (1963), Kalitan (1917) and Old England (1902).
“It means a lot to the whole industry and to racing, which we needed,” said Sherman, who rode at Bowie Race Course in 1959 but was making his first visit to Pimlico Wednesday. “We need stars right now and I think we’ve got a chance.”
California Chrome, who arrived at Pimlico from Kentucky Monday afternoon, jogged once around the track Tuesday morning and is scheduled to be sent out for a gallop Wednesday at 6:45 a.m. Sherman will be available to the media at the podium adjacent to the Preakness Stakes Barn between 7:30 and 8 a.m. each morning leading up to Saturday’s Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.