California Chrome Arrives for the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1)
California Chrome arrived at Gulfstream Park Friday to begin preparation for a highly anticipated rematch with Arrogate in the inaugural running of the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 28.
Accompanied by a state police escort from Palm Beach International Airport, the van carrying the 2014 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) winner drove through the stable gate at 5:40 p.m., completing a journey that began at Los Alamitos Race Course in Southern California early Friday morning.
Supervised by trainer Art Sherman’s son and assistant, Alan, California Chrome quickly settled into Stall 2 in Barn 2 on the Gulfstream backstretch.
“He looks great. He traveled well. He’s drinking and looking for his hay,” Sherman said. “He’s bright-eyed. He looks good.”
Sherman said California Chrome will walked the shedrow Saturday morning and is scheduled to get acquainted with the Gulfstream racetrack Sunday morning.
Thoroughbred racing’s most enduring star is scheduled to make his 27th and final start at Gulfstream Park, the ninth racetrack he has visited during a career that has spanned nearly four years.
California Chrome achieved immortality in 2014, when he won the first two legs of the Triple Crown before being named 3-year-old champion and Horse of the Year. After overcoming chronic physical issues that cut short his 2015 campaign after a second-place finish in the Dubai World Cup (G1), the son of Lucky Pulpit returned better than ever this year, capturing his first six races, including the Dubai World Cup, only to fall a half-length short of holding off Arrogate in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita Nov. 4.
California Chrome and Arrogate are finalists for the 2016 Horse of the Year title, which will be announced at the 46th annual Eclipse Awards Dinner in Gulfstream’s Sport of Kings facility Jan. 21, a week prior to the Pegasus World Cup.
Art Sherman is expected to travel to South Florida in time to attend the Eclipse Awards and complete his 6-year-old trainee’s preparation for the Pegasus World Cup.
Win or lose, California Chrome will be retired after the Pegasus World Cup and begin his career as a stallion at Taylor Made in Nicholasville, Ky.