Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner California Chrome made his first appearance on the track at Churchill Downs Wednesday morning since winning the 140th Run for the Roses last Saturday.
At 6:55, California Chrome was led from Barn 20 by Alan Sherman, son of trainer Art Sherman, with regular morning partner Willie Delgado in the saddle.
Owned by his breeders Steven Coburn and Perry Martin, California Chrome paused before reaching the five-furlong gap, taking a couple of minutes to check out the activity before going to the track. California Chrome stood in front of the clockers’ stand briefly and then jogged one mile.
“Good. Good. Really super,” Delgado said of the morning exercise. “He went out there like he always does. He is his normal self.”
Alan Sherman was similarly delighted.
“It went really good,” Sherman said. “He wanted to train; he was tired of walking.”
Sherman said California Chrome would resume galloping Thursday and maintain that schedule for as long as the California-bred colt remains at Churchill Downs. He will travel to Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course early next week to compete in the May 17 Preakness (GI), the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
“I still haven’t heard about the plane; whether we will go to Pimlico Monday or Wednesday,” Sherman said. “I’d prefer Monday. The key now is to keep him happy.”
FOUR OTHER PREAKNESS HOPEFULS TRAIN – Four other 3-year-olds with Preakness aspirations were on the Churchill Downs track Wednesday morning for various exercises.
Seventh-place Kentucky Derby finisher Ride On Curlin returned to the track for the first time since Saturday’s race. With trainer Billy Gowan on the right and groom Bridget Lambert on the left, Daniel Dougherty’s Ride On Curlin walked from Barn 47 to the six-furlong gap where exercise rider Bryan Beccia hopped aboard.
Ride On Curlin backtracked to the finish line and then galloped an easy 1 1/8 miles. “He was 110 percent; all systems are go,” Beccia told Gowan after the exercise.
“He will do the same thing the next two days,” Gowan said. “I will probably work him a slow half when he gets to Pimlico.”
Gowan is hoping there will be a Monday plane to Baltimore and he said Ride On Curlin would not work here even if there should be no flight until Wednesday.
“I am betting on a plane for Monday,” Gowan said.
Kaleem Shah’s Bayern returned to the track on a mild, clear morning to jog a mile under exercise rider Jorge Alvarez for trainer Bob Baffert. Bayern, who was disqualified from first in the April 26 Derby Trial (GIII) for interference in deep stretch, had worked a bullet five-eighths in :58.20 on Monday under Rosie Napravnik. Jim Barnes, who is overseeing Baffert’s Churchill Downs string, said Bayern would resume galloping Thursday and work again on Monday. “That is our usual routine to work five days out and then ship on Wednesday,” Barnes said.
John Oxley’s Dynamic Impact, winner of the Illinois Derby (GIII) in his stakes debut in his most recent start, galloped 1 ½ miles under Marco Cano for trainer Mark Casse. Miguel Mena, who was aboard Dynamic Impact for the Illinois Derby victory, is slated to be aboard when the Tiznow colt works on Saturday.
Christopher Dunn and Loooch Racing Stable’s Ria Antonia galloped 1 ½ miles at Churchill Downs shortly before 6:30 Wednesday morning with Maurice Sanchez aboard for trainer Tom Amoss. Sixth to Untapable in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) last Friday, Ria Antonia is scheduled for a light breeze Monday.
BARN TALK – Jockey Jon Court is scheduled to have surgery on his broken right hand on May 19 according to his agent Steve Krajcir. “He will be out for the rest of the meet and maybe start back at Ellis Park or Indiana (Grand Race Course),” Krajcir said of Court, who sustained the injury in a spill in Saturday’s 13th race. …
Anita Cauley, owner and breeder of La Troienne (GI) winner On Fire Baby, continued to ride the high of Friday’s victory that made On Fire Baby a millionaire.
“My feet haven’t touched the ground and I am just getting my voice back,” Cauley said of the popular victory that produced an overflow winner’s circle. “I couldn’t believe how many people were in there and (trainer) Gary (Hartlage) and I came down together and barely found room to squeeze in.”
The $200,000-added Fleur De Lis (GII) on June 14 for fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles is a likely next stop for On Fire Baby, now a three-time stakes winner at Churchill Downs. However, sometime in the future, a venture on the grass may be in the offing.
“I would not be opposed to grass,” Cauley said. “We looked at it last year, but then she got sick. I would be a matter of timing.” …
Trainer Randy Morse indicated that Alysheba (GII) winner Moonshine Mullin could be headed to the $500,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) on June 14. “He came out of the Alysheba good and the Foster would be most logical,” Morse said.
Also eyeing the Foster is beaten Alysheba favorite Will Take Charge, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, and multiple graded-stakes winner Departing, winner of his 2014 debut here last Wednesday. Departing is trained by Al Stall Jr., who indicated Churchill Downs (GII) winner Central Banker could start next in the $1,250,000 Metropolitan Handicap (G1) on the June 7 Belmont Stakes Day card. …
Tom Morgan, assistant to trainer Bret Calhoun, said that Eight Belles (GIII) winner Fiftyshadesofgold is being pointed to the $750,000 Acorn (GI) to be run at one mile on June 7 at Belmont Park. …
Nominations close Saturday for two Memorial Day Weekend stakes: the $100,000-added Louisville Handicap (GIII) and the $100,000-added Winning Colors (GIII). The Louisville Handicap, to be run May 24, is for 3-year-olds and up going 1 ½ miles on the turf. The Winning Colors, to be run May 26, is for fillies and mares going six furlongs on the main track.