Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

May 6, 2014

HORSE RACING: Kentucky Derby champ California Chrome faces lighter load

LOUISVILLE — Before his workload and the scrutiny become heavier next week, California Chrome will enjoy a few light days.

The Kentucky Derby champion looked fresh following his 1 3/4-length victory at Churchill Downs on Saturday and seemed to be handling the ensuing fame quite well. After a Sunday morning walk and bath, the chestnut colt stood tall and proud like a runway model, making sure photographers got plenty of pictures.

With attention likely to increase as California Chrome heads to Pimlico for the Preakness on May 17, trainer Art Sherman wants his horse as relaxed as possible before returning to work. The horse will rest this week at Churchill Downs before flying to Baltimore next Monday to prepare for the Triple Crown's next jewel.

For the 77-year-old Sherman it means adjusting his training routine from several weeks between starts to just a few with the Preakness followed by the Belmont Stakes on June 7. Which is why California Chrome will remain at racing's most famous track instead of flying back home or arriving early to prepare for the 1 3/16-mile race at Pimlico.

''Rather than shift to different tracks, he likes it here, he likes his surroundings,'' said Sherman, who became the oldest trainer to win the Derby. ''Let him freshen up for a few days and we'll get over there probably four or five days before just to school him like I always do.''

Sherman's strategy certainly worked for California Chrome in the Derby, where the 5-2 favorite became the first California-bred champion since Decidedly in 1962.

Jockey Victor Espinoza's decision to lay off early in a slower-than-expected race also paid off, allowing California Chrome to save his best for the stretch in the 19-horse field. He went on to his fifth straight win and seventh in 11 starts. Commanding Curve was second and Danza third.

Despite the huge spotlight and expectations, California Chrome fulfilled them in racing's marquee event by remaining unfazed. He was just as laid back Sunday morning while soaking up attention from media and visitors.

''He's pretty good that way, just takes everything in stride,'' said Alan Sherman, who co-trains the horse with his father. ''He got a little worked up Saturday on his way over to the paddock, but once he got in he was fine. He just loves to train and loves to run, that horse.''

Stride is the operative word for California Chrome this week. Alan Sherman said the horse will walk for a few days before jogging and then traveling.

While Alan Sherman handles those duties, his dad will be back in Southern California tending to his other horses. Sherman figures to get a hero's reception and he welcomes the break after getting little sleep following his biggest victory, a whirlwind that included several rounds of interviews.

California Chrome's low maintenance has allowed Sherman the luxury of getting away.

''I don't really have to do too much with him, just keep him happy, keep him fresh,'' Sherman said. ''He's coming back in two weeks, and I've never run horses back in two weeks as a rule. I'm more seven weeks, six weeks...

''I'll let the horse tell me. I'm not going to be no fancy-works, no fancy-this, just keep him fresh.''



 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0111web.jpg ‘Team behind the Team’

    For the second-straight year, the Claremore Zebra student training staff will be represented in the Oklahoma Coaches All-State games held in Tulsa.
    Meranda Golbek and Sarah Szcinski, a pair of 2014 Claremore High School graduates, earned All-State honors for their athletic training careers and will join two other student trainers from Jenks and Stillwater High School on the East squad.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • FISHFRYweb.jpg Claremore QB Club holds Fish Fry Aug. 2

    The Claremore Zebra Quarterback Club will hold its annual Fish Fry fundraiser on Aug. 2 at the Claremore High School cafeteria.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • MLB: Rangers struggle in 9-3 loss to A's

    A rough month didn't get any better for Texas on Sunday night, even though the game-time temperature of 100 degrees would have seemed to be in the Rangers' favor against Oakland.

    However, they trailed 5-0 in the second inning en route to a 9-3 loss to the Athletics. Texas has lost 15 of its last 18 and dropped to 4-19 in July.

    July 28, 2014

  • Lost Red Sox title ring returned by Yankees fan

    A lost Red Sox World Series ring is back on the finger of its owner, thanks to a nifty pickup by an ardent New York Yankees fan.

    Manhattan restaurant owner Luigi Militello could hardly believe it when he found the shiny 2013 championship ring on a restroom sink at his Luke's Bar and Grill on Thursday night.

    July 28, 2014

  • MLB: First-place Dodgers complete sweep of Giants

    Manager Don Mattingly hardly considers a late-July sweep in San Francisco a turning point to put his Dodgers in the driver's seat atop the NL West.

    Yet coming off consecutive series losses at St. Louis and Pittsburgh, Los Angeles needed some sort of spark as August approaches. The Dodgers found it in the ballpark of their biggest rival, and left the Bay Area in first place following an emphatic three-game swing.

    Carl Crawford hit an RBI triple to back Hyun-Jin Ryu's third straight victory, and division-leading Los Angeles beat the Giants 4-3 Sunday night to establish some momentum behind their pitching and offense.

    July 28, 2014

  • NBA: Lakers set on hiring Byron Scott for new coach

    The Los Angeles Lakers have waited nearly three months to hire a new coach, and they're apparently making Byron Scott wait a few more days.

    Scott said this weekend that he has been hired by the Lakers, but the club insisted Sunday that no deal has been reached.

    July 28, 2014

  • NASCAR: Jeff Gordon claims fifth Brickyard 400 title

    With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again.

    Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight days before his 43rd birthday and on the weekend Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first Brickyard victory.

    July 28, 2014

  • MLB: Thomas, Torre highlight HOF class

    Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy.

    Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats.

    Thomas, pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, and managers Bobby Cox, Torre and La Russa were inducted into the baseball shrine Sunday, and all paid special tribute to their families before an adoring crowd of nearly 50,000.

    July 28, 2014

  • Blackmon a 'big deal' for the wrong reasons

    The sports world is littered with gifted athletes whose self-destructive tendencies derailed what should have been promising careers. Ex-Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon appears to be on that well-worn path with his latest arrest.

    July 27, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Three Rivers Bandits notch 8th-straight win

    The Three Rivers Bandits seem to be getting hot when they need to be, heading into next week’s state tournament.

    The Bartlesville Indians were victims of the heat as the Bandits swept a doubleheader from them, 2-0 and then 9-2, on Saturday at Connors State College for their eighth straight win.

    July 27, 2014