Connections from the camp of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner California Chrome were quick to dispel rumors that the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) favorite was becoming ill the morning of May 15 at Pimlico Race Course.
Alan Sherman, assistant to trainer Art Sherman, said California Chrome does have a small blister in his throat. Bloodwork and a scope taken when the colt was in Kentucky revealed it to be a minor issue with no further complications. California Chrome had the blister before the Kentucky Derby and it went away, he said, but came back recently.
"The horse is completely fine," Alan Sherman reported. "His bloodwork came back perfect, he coughed about four times today, and we got him checked out right away. The blister isn't going to affect him at all; the vet said there were absolutely no other problems, nothing else going on."
California Chrome is being treated with a glycerin throat wash to coat the irritated area.
"He had it going into the Derby and it went away. After he ran in there, it came back a little bit, but it's not a big deal at all," Alan Sherman said, noting that a throat blister is fairly common.
He compared it to an itchy throat for a human. "I don't know how they get them, but a lot of horses get them."
A California-bred son of Lucky Pulpit who races for Steven Coburn and Perry Martin, the Kentucky Derby victor has won his past five races by a combined 26 lengths and is 3-5 on the morning line in a field of 10 for the May 17 Preakness.