California Chrome

California Chrome

Anne M. Eberhardt

California Chrome Could Race at Los Al Next

Chestnut runner has never raced at his home base, but that could change Dec. 17.

California Chrome  has trained most of his career at Los Alamitos Race Course, there has been a California Chrome Day, and the track has honored him by naming a race the California Chrome Stakes.

The 2014 Horse of the Year has raced at eight different racetracks in five different states and overseas in Dubai, but has never competed at his Cypress, Calif., home.

That may change Dec. 17, if all goes as planned.

Los Alamitos is working toward giving the son of Lucky Pulpit  a sendoff in a $100,000, to-be-named overnight stakes, which would serve as a prep race for the final start of his career in the Jan. 28 Pegasus World Cup (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park.

"There have been discussions. We're exploring the possibility," said Brad McKinzie, vice president and general manager of the Los Alamitos' Thoroughbred racing. "The California Chrome folks have expressed an interest in having a prep for the Pegasus, and to see if we can put it together."

McKinzie admitted there is still work to be done with the Thoroughbred Owners of California and other industry stakeholders to get the unexpected stakes funded and positioned, but also acknowledged the race would be a huge draw.

"It would be a great opportunity for Los Alamitos," McKinzie said. "It would put us on the map. He's got a huge following and it would be great to have his fans get a chance to see him run at home."

The race would be for horses 3-years-old and older at 1 1/16 miles.

"The timing would be perfect," said trainer Art Sherman. "I think it would be great for the fans and all the people who are involved. It would be great. That way we don't have to ship him anyplace. We can tune up right here, rather than having to work him a mile to try to tighten him up. It makes my job easier."

California Chrome will resume serious training Nov. 19 at Los Alamitos with his first timed workout since a second-place run in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).