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California Chrome
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Chad B. Harmon

California Chrome to Contest Hollywood Derby

The 1 1/8-mile grade I race would be the first turf start for dual classic winner.

Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner California Chrome  is expected to conclude his 2014 season and make his turf debut in the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) at Del Mar Nov. 29.

Trainer Art Sherman has nominated the California-bred son of Lucky Pulpit  to the 1 1/8-mile grass test with a $300,000 purse. It is one of two grade I stakes on the closing weekend of Del Mar's 15-day Bing Crosby season. The other is the Matriarch Stakes (gr. IT) on the closing day of the meeting, Nov. 30.

The Hollywood Derby was previously contested at 1 1/4 miles on turf when it was a mainstay on the Hollywood Park autumn schedule.

A subsequent release from Del Mar said California Chrome is under consideration for the $200,000 Native Diver Handicap (gr. III) on Polytrack against older horses as well Nov. 29. The Del Mar publicity office reported that Sherman indicated the chestnut colt is to work on the Del Mar turf course Nov. 23. A decision on a start for the horse could be made following the drill.

California Chrome, also the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner who has won eight of 15 career starts and earned $4,042,650, won the Graduation Stakes at Del Mar before finishing sixth in the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) in 2013, both on Polytrack. In his most recent start Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park, the colt finished third in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), losing by a neck to Bayern .

"(California Chrome) came out of the race great. I was up there (Los Alamitos) on Monday and trained him and he looks super," Sherman said Nov. 12. "I've wanted to try him on turf, this is an opportune time. And Horse of the Year is on the line. If he wins it, maybe he could be Horse of the Year. It could help. I don't know."

In addition to his two classic victories, California Chrome won the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and will be attempting a fourth grade I win of the year in the Hollywood Derby.