Triple Crown candidate California Chrome "trained like a monster" the morning of May 25 as he continued his preparations for the upcoming $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
California Chrome was greeted with clear blue skies and a bright morning sun for the first time since his arrival at Belmont Park May 20.
"He just keeps getting stronger," said Alan Sherman, son of and assistant to trainer Art Sherman, after the chestnut colt galloped two miles around the track. "I can see it in his stride and the way he's taking hold of (exercise rider) Willie (Delgado), he seems to like this track. He's actually put on some weight since the Preakness (gr. I)."
Sherman continues to be impressed with how California Chrome is adapting to his new environment.
"This morning, with the way the sun was hitting him, he was shining like a new penny," he added. "He looks so good right now."
California Chrome would become the only California-bred to win the Triple Crown should he add the June 7 Belmont to his victories in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness. The chestnut has been away from his home base at Los Alamitos Racecourse in Cypress, Calif. since April 28.
"It always takes him a day or two to settle in," Sherman said of the colt's earlier sojourns to Churchill Downs and Pimlico Race Course. "He's starting to figure everything out. He stands there and lets everyone take their photos. He's a big ham. He's enjoying himself and having fun."
Sherman said California Chrome would continue to train at 6 a.m. for the foreseeable future. His lone scheduled work between the Preakness and the 1 1/2-mile Belmont is slated for May 31.
"He's nickering when we get to the barn in the morning," he said. "He doesn't like to stand around."
Art Sherman, 77, returned to California following the Preakness and is scheduled to arrive in New York early next week.
"He's probably missing the horse, but I'm sure he's enjoying the peace and quiet," Sherman said of his father. "He's holding up well. He was getting a little tired, which is probably why he's staying at home a little longer."