Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner California Chrome, early favorite for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) took another step forward when he cruised four furlongs at his Los Alamitos headquarters the morning of April 19 in :47 4/5.
Regular rider Victor Espinoza was aboard for drill, the first for the California-bred son of Lucky Pulpit since romping in the April 5 Santa Anita Derby by 5 1/4 lengths. The drill was the eighth swiftest of 29 at the distance at Los Alamitos and came shortly after the renovation break.
"Victor said he went great," trainer Art Sherman said after the 8 a.m. drill.
Following a traffic incident during a recent gallop caused by other horses on the oval, Los Alamitos officials made sure California Chrome had the track to himself Saturday.
"The track was immaculate," Sherman said. "He'll have his final workout next Saturday (April 26) and ship early Monday morning (April 28) for Kentucky. There were some 30 people here today to see him work. He galloped out (five furlongs) in 1:01. Everything went great."
The homebred will head to Churchill Downs with six wins from 10 starts and earnings of $1,134,850 for owners Steve Coburn and Perry Martin.
In other West Coast Derby news, agent Tony Matos reported that Corey Nakatani will ride Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) winner Dance With Fate for trainer Peter Eurton in the Kentucky Derby. Nakatani was aboard the son of Two Step Salsa in the Blue Grass, which they won by 1 3/4 lengths over the Keeneland Polytrack.
Following Dance With Fate's victory in the Blue Grass April 12, Eurton consulted with owners Sharon Alesia, Michael Mellen's Bran Jam Stable, and Joseph Ciaglia's Ciaglia Racing before announcing April 18 that the dark bay colt would next run in the Derby.
Also Saturday, Lee and Susan Searing's homebred Candy Boy worked a flashy five furlongs in :59 4/5 at Santa Anita Park, third swiftest of 63 at the distance. The move completed the Candy Ride colt's major Southern California preparations prior to the Derby.
The third-place finisher in the Santa Anita Derby, Candy Boy is scheduled to ship to Churchill Downs April 21 for trainer John Sadler. Also expected on that flight is the Bob Baffert-trained Hoppertunity, runner-up in the Santa Anita Derby after winning the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) March 15 at Oaklawn Park.