April 22, 2021

Chrome team has difference of opinion over San Antonio drill

Last updated: 2/1/15 6:41 PM

Chrome team has difference of opinion over San Antonio

Chrome (pictured last week) was supposed to work faster, according to trainer Art Sherman, while jockey Victor Espinoza thought it was just right
(Courtesy of Los Alamitos via Twitter)

Horse of the Year California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit) rounded off his major
preparations for Saturday’s San Antonio (G2) by breezing five furlongs in 1:01
3/5 at Los Alamitos Sunday. With blinkers on and regular rider Victor Espinoza
up, Chrome posted fractional times of :25 1/5 and :49 4/5, according to Los
Alamitos head clocker Russ Hudak.

Espinoza was delighted, while trainer Art Sherman wanted something faster.

“I think he went excellent,” Espinoza said. “He was steady all the way
around, just cruising in the middle of the racetrack. I thought he went in a
minute flat — it felt like that anyway. I think it was a perfect work for him,
he’s ready. The way he’s going and the way he’s been working tells me he’s ready
to go.

“I think he’s stronger this year. The way he feels when I work him, he’s
bigger and more mature. From last year to this is a big difference. He’s been
working really strong. I believe he’ll run as good as a four-year-old as he did
at three.”

“I thought he was going to work him faster,” Sherman said. “Victor told me
that he goes so easy he was afraid he would go too fast if he clucked to him. I
was looking for a minute and change. That would have helped me a lot more going
into this race.

“I think it’s a good work but I would have liked a sharper workout
for this race. He’s doing so good though, so…his gallop out was stronger than
it has been. He galloped out in 1:11 and four (fifths).

“He was so strong pulling up. He’ll be fresh and ready, I can tell you that.”

Hudak, however, caught California Chrome’s six-furlong gallop-out in 1:14.

Alan Sherman, the trainer’s son and assistant, was satisfied with the move.

“He went good; we’re happy with him,” Alan said. “He’ll ship to Santa Anita
on Tuesday and gallop on the track Wednesday.”

In other San Antonio news:

Hoppertunity will try to upstage the Chrome-Shared Belief clash
(Benoit Photos)

Chrome is expected to face once-beaten male two-year-old champion of 2013
Shared Belief (Candy Ride) and eye-catching San Pasqual (G2) winner Hoppertunity
(Any Given Saturday), among others in the eagerly anticipated San Antonio
Invitational, which will decided at 1 1/8 miles for older horses.

Victorious in the Clark H. (G1) at Churchill Downs two back, Hoppertunity was
also under consideration for Saturday’s Donn H. (G1) at Gulfstream Park, but he
worked himself into the San Antonio.

“He’s running,” trainer Bob Baffert said unequivocally after Hoppertunity
worked six furlongs in company at Santa Anita Sunday morning in 1:14 1/5 under
Martin Garcia. Stablemate Doctor Dempsey (Harlan’s Holiday) was clocked in 1:14

“That’s good for him,” the Hall of Famer said of Hoppertunity’s time.

Shared Belief is scheduled to have his final major breeze for the San Antonio
at his Golden Gate Fields base on Tuesday, then ship to Santa Anita on

“He’ll work a half-mile under Russell Baze,” Jerry Hollendorfer said by phone
Sunday morning.

Shared Belief, who could very well be unbeaten had his chances of winning the
Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) not been compromised by a rough start, will be
seeking his ninth win from 10 career starts in the San Antonio.

“He’s a very consistent horse,” Hollendorfer said.

Trainer Bob Hess Jr. said Sunday morning he was “50-50” on running San
Pasqual third-place finisher Blue Tone (Birdstone) in the San Antonio or the
Donn at Gulfstream the same day.

“If he runs here,” Hess said, “Kent (Desormeaux) will ride him.”

Blue Tone worked five furlongs Sunday morning in a bullet :59, fastest of 59
drills at the distance at Santa Anita, the average time of which was 1:01.31.

Trainer Mark Casse said he “wasn’t sure” on Dynamic Sky (Sky Mesa), who also
is nominated to Saturday’s San Marcos S. (G2)  at 1 1/8 miles on turf,
where the John Oxley colorbearer has run seven times in his 21-race career.

“We’ve been preparing him like he’s going to run in the dirt race,” Casse
said. “We’re definitely thinking about it and appreciate being invited. We’ll
talk to Mr. Oxley and decide.”

Trainer Sean McCarthy said Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) winner Majestic
Harbor (Rockport Harbor) will go in the San Marcos, not the San Antonio.
Majestic Harbor worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Sunday in 1:00

Chilean import Bronzo (Fusaichi Pegasus) covered six panels in 1:14 2/5 ahead
of a probable tilt at the San Antonio. Gary Stevens has the mount.

Probable for the San Antonio, which will be limited to 10 starters: Bronzo;
California Chrome; Clubhouse Ride (Candy Ride), Aaron Gryder; Hoppertunity;
Shared Belief, Mike Smith; Tonito M. (Rock Hard Ten), Rafael Bejarano; Alfa Bird
(Birdstone), Tyler Baze; and Imperative (Bernardini), Flavien Prat.

The race will be televised nationally on Fox Sports 1.

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