California Chrome, the unlikely hero of this year's Triple Crown series who won the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I), will make his return from a brief layoff in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) Sept. 20.
The 3-year-old son of Lucky Pulpit , fourth in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) after injuring his right front quarter leaving the starting gate, has been training at conditioner Art Sherman's Los Alamitos Race Course since returning from a respite at Harris Farms July 17. The Belmont loss June 7 snapped a six-race win streak for the blaze-faced California-bred chestnut who also took the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) earlier in the season for owners Steve Coburn and Perry Martin.
For making the 1 1/8-mile Pennsylvania Derby California Chrome's first start off the bench, Sherman and the owners are guaranteed $100,000 each once he leaves the starting gate. The deal is part of a bonus that gives $50,000 each to the owner and trainer of any horse who has won any of five races—the Derby, Preakness, Belmont, Haskell Invitational (gr. I), or the upcoming Aug. 23 Travers Stakes (gr. I).
"The money helped the decision," trainer Art Sherman told Dick Jerardi of the Philadelphia Daily News.
Sherman told the Daily News he plans to ship California Chrome east the week of the race to arrive at Parx by Sept. 15. The colt will be stabled in Barn 10, which also hosted 2013 Pennsylvania Derby winner and eventual 3-year-old champion Will Take Charge. A backup plan would be to run in the Sept. 27 Awesome Again Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
California Chrome is to have one start before running in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Nov. 1 at Santa Anita.