(Santa Anita Release ) ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 9, 2016)–Idle since March 28 in Dubai, 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome came back running on Saturday at Santa Anita, as he forged to a 1 ¼ length win in the Grade II, $200,000 San Pasqual Stakes. Trained by Art Sherman and ridden by Victor Espinoza, the 5-year-old California-bred horse by Lucky Pulpit covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.39.
Breaking from post position four in a field of seven older horses, California Chrome utilized his natural speed to sit a comfortable second behind pacesetter Alfa Bird into and around the Club House turn. Well in hand under Espinoza, "Chrome" cruised to the lead under a hold approaching the quarter pole and kept runner-up Imperative at bay the final sixteenth.
"He could've opened up turning for home, but Victor put the Full-Nelson on him," quipped Sherman. "It was just what we needed. He'll get a lot out of this race, believe me. It set up just as we figured. I knew he'd show speed. He's been wanting to run quite a bit right now…and I said 'He's got a lot of gas (speed) himself and you can place him where you want.
"That's why he's a perfect horse. You don't have to bring a game plan with him. He can sit off the pace or go on the pace."
Sherman said that California Chrome, who picked up $2 million for running second in last year's Dubai World Cup, would be heading back to the Middle East later this month.