From a Parx Racing release
Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome, with exercise rider Willie Delgado aboard, made his first appearance on the track at Parx at 8:30 a.m. ET, slowly jogging a mile under beautiful sunny skies, getting his initial feel for the lay of the land at the Bensalem track. Bright and alert, the handsome chestnut son of Lucky Pulpit looked to be enjoying the moment as he prepares for Saturday’s $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (GII)..
“He was great,” remarked assistant trainer Alan Sherman. “He posed and strutted his stuff. Tomorrow we’ll school him in the paddock and then take him out to gallop a mile and a half. Friday we’ll school at the gate and he’ll gallop one more time.”
Sherman reported that the long, cross-country ship had no impact on his charge. “He ships so good,” Sherman said. “He never turns a hair. He doesn’t mind the travel one bit. It’s given us the opportunity to take him wherever we want.”
Chrome, Sherman said, is continung to thrive with a three-month break about to end. “His weight is just about perfect and he’s so good mentally,” the conditioner said. “He’s just a cool horse to be around. It makes our job a lot easier.”
The Chrome camp chose to avoid the West Coast’s other big sophomore star, Shared Belief — “We look forward to facing him in the Breeders’ Cup but we really didn’t want to race against him right now,” Sherman said — but a rival they did not avoid is Bayern.
Kaleem Shah’s Bayern, trained by Bob Baffert, second choice at 7-2 in the Pennsylvania Derby, galloped a mile this morning under assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes.
“He worked on Sunday, walked Monday and Tuesday and today he went straight off and galloped out a mile,” said Barnes. “He went over the track very nice.”
Barnes, who suggested that Bayern did not take to the Saratoga surface in his dismal 10th place finish in the Grade 1 Travers, said he was looking forward to testing his speedster against the current divisional leader.
“If there is any time to do it, it’s probably be now,” he said. “[California Chrome] is coming off a layoff… We’re ready to take him on.”
Barnes said that Bayern, winner of the William Hill Haskell in July, will gallop a mile and a quarter Thursday morning.
CRK Stable’s Candy Boy, who arrived with California Chrome yesterday from California, walked the shedrow today. Trained by John Sadler, the bay son of Candy Ride finished second by a nose in the West Virginia Derby on August 2 to fellow Pennsylvania Derby entrant Tapiture.