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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:39 pm 
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The admirable four-year-old was last seen on a racecourse when finishing second to Prince Bishop in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan in March and has been lodging with Rae Guest in Newmarket for the last couple of months, but trainer Art Sherman and part-owner Steve Coburn have now arrived in preparation for next week's Royal meeting.

The pair were on hand as California Chrome enjoyed a routine spin on the Watered Gallop in Newmarket, with big-race rider William Buick in the plate as the duo finished comfortably clear of a lead horse.

Sherman said: "He looked good and he was impressive the way he finished up the hill. This is all a totally new experience for him, but I'm sure he will be fine as he's a smart horse.

"He has run on the grass before but it was completely different to what he will face at Ascot.

"He looks good and he looks fit. My son said he worked really nicely down at Ascot last week.

"I think it's the biggest challenge he's faced so far as there are some great horses in the race. You only need to look at his odds to understand that. He's going to be, what, 12/1? 15/1? He's usually an 8/5 or an even-money chance. So I'm going in with my eyes wide open.

"I was really pleased to see him today and to see William ride him. I'm sure he's the right man for the job.

"I get goosebumps watching him every time. He’s a push-button horse. I'm just glad I got him."

Check out Sky Bet's latest Royal Ascot odds
Sherman described his visit to Newmarket as "eye-opening".

"This is a horse paradise," he said. "We have some nice courses, but nothing like this. So much grass, so much open space. It's awesome."

Stetson-wearing Coburn, who has previously hinted at reservations about running the horse at the meeting, confirmed that the decision to line up had ultimately been made by the majority owner of the horse, Perry Martin, but insisted that he was up for the challenge.

"Look, the horse was really tired after Dubai," he said. "We were hoping to get him back to the States and prepare him for the Breeders' Cup. My partner Perry Martin decided to send him here and he’s here. But I'm loving every minute of it. This is my first trip to England, but he's taken us a whole bunch of first trips. He's a horse of dreams.

"He’ll give every ounce of his heart. He always does. On his worst day he’s still been 100 per cent a pleasure to watch.

"We've seen a lot of different things and met a lot of great people. We've got fans from all over the world. When we got back from Kentucky, there were boxes on our front porch with letters from all over the world and some of them just said 'California Chrome, Nevada USA' on them. We've answered every one of them. These are people that love this horse, they've embraced him, and I think that's because we're just two regular guys who did it. We didn't have a boatload of money, we stuck to our gameplan, and it's paid off in quite a tremendous way.

"This is going to be the toughest race of his life. Everything is new. The course is new, the running uphill is new, the running downhill is new. It's going to be tough in this race. He'll always try his best, he gives 100 per cent of his heart every time, but it's going to be tough. This is our once-in-a-lifetime shot and we're going to enjoy it. But, like I said, if he just comes out sound, I'll be happy."


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:50 pm 
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Weanling

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TJ wrote:
Thirteen US runners to compete at the Royal Ascot meet next Tuesday 6/16, through Saturday 6/20. Ten runners from the Wesley Ward barn, one from Graham Motion, one from George Weaver and one shared from Sherman/Guest. Read the article below with the list of those entered. TJ
http://live.drf.com/nuggets/16420

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ward become the first American-based trainer in history to saddle a winner at the Royal meeting when Strike The Tiger struck gold in the Windsor Castle Stakes in 2009 and the affable trainer was on the mark again the following day with runaway Queen Mary scorer Jealous Again.

Those triumphs six years ago were no flash in the pan, with No Nay Never and Hootenanny also enjoying big-race success in the last two seasons.

Hootenanny is back for more, with the inaugural Commonwealth Cup on the penultimate day his target, but there are plenty of other horses getting Ward excited.

The trainer's first representative of Royal week will be Coventry Stakes candidate Finnegan.

Beaten into second on his debut at Keeneland, the Coolmore-owned youngster went one better at Pimlico and is highly rated by Ward.

"I think he's going there with a big chance, I really do," said Ward.

"He was always top of his class from day one. The boys at Coolmore sent him to me in early December and from the moment I got on - I rode him myself - I could feel the class.

"He was very special from day one. From when we starting breezing him, every horse I matched him with in his work, he wasn't always the quickest, but always had the most class.

"He worked well on the dirt, but since we put him on the grass he's just raised it another notch."


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:28 am 
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He is responsible for one of the worst predictions in sporting history; he is also a candidate for the worst loser seen on television. None of that matters now, however, because Steve Coburn (and his ownership partner Perry Martin) deserve a huge pat on the back for bringing the wonderful California Chrome to Royal Ascot.

Coburn's rant after last year's Belmont Stakes (“I’ll never see — I’m 61 years old — and I’ll never see in my lifetime another Triple Crown winner because [of] the way they do this.”) reflects more on the human condition than it does him. We have all had moments like this, if not in our personal lives, when betting on and following the careers of racehorses.

Well, the fast-talking half of the Dumb Ass Partners is now taking his show to Royal Ascot, where California Chrome will take part in the G1 Prince of Wales's Stakes on Wednesday. Many of us here in Britain thought we would never see one Kentucky Derby winner on British soil – now we will have seen two. But can “Chromie” do better than Animal Kingdom, who sunk without trace in the G1 Queen Anne over a mile two years ago?

California Chrome is tackling the two-furlong longer Prince of Wales's, which takes place on Ascot's punishing round course, the feature of which is a climb out of Swinley Bottom (the right-hand extreme of the far side of the track as viewed from the cavernous grandstands). For his part, Animal Kingdom was said to have been unsuited by the straight track, but the truth is he was finished mentally and physically by that stage of his career, and the last hurrah was really just a meek goodbye.

Animal Kingdom has a more European-oriented pedigree than California Chrome – to say the least. The former is out of the mare Dalicia, a G3 winner in Germany by the late Acatenango, three-time German Horse of the Year in the mid-1980s.

By contrast, California Chrome is the product of a union no less distinctly rooted in day-to-day America out West than the Dumb Ass Partners' commendable attitude to life. His sire, Lucky Pulpit, was a tough horse who ran second in the 2004 Santa Catalina Stakes at Santa Anita, while his dam, Love The Chase, won a maiden claimer at Golden Gate Fields in 2009.

Forgetting the question of how the product of such a union could win a Kentucky Derby, the relevant question now is whether California Chrome has any shot of mixing it over a stiff mile and a quarter on grass. True, he is already a top-level winner on the lawn via his domination of the G1 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar last November, but they ran nine furlongs in a rapid 1:47.88 (Chrome cut out easy fractions of 23.56 – 23.39 – 24.53 – 24.23 – 12.17) on a firm surface and with tight bends to break up the effort. This is a long way from what awaits at Royal Ascot.

Last year, the late-running filly The Fugue got the last three furlongs of the Prince of Wales's in 35.6 seconds with a superb last two furlongs of 24.0 seconds. This is typical of the relatively late distribution of energy that is ideal, given the layout of the track. Front-running or early-paced types need to get away with a slow, early pace.

An interesting precedent is provided by the victory of Dubai Millennium in the 2000 Prince of Wales's. Though Sheikh Mohammed's ill-fated superstar had not raced in the U.S., he was a dirt horse by nature, acing the same year's Dubai World Cup at Nad Al Sheba true to his pedigree (by Seeking The Gold out of a half-sister to the 1994 Breeders' Cup Juvenile and 1995 Preakness winner Timber Country).

In the hands of Jerry Bailey, Dubai Millennium won the Prince of Wales's as if it were a dirt race, carving out solid fractions, surging clear before turning in then tiring somewhat inside the final furlong but still winning by eight lengths. California Chrome isn't quite as good as Dubai Millennium (he would have no shot at getting under 2:00 for the Dubai World Cup like the former Godolphin horse) and he is a traveller/quickener, rather than a galloper. In other words, he won't be able to blast his Ascot rivals apart mid-race.

Perhaps more importantly than any tactical considerations, one wonders if this is near the end of the line for California Chrome, as it was for Animal Kingdom. It is important to recognise that a sample-of-one is no guide, however, and the other Kentucky Derby winner to come to Ascot provides only precedent not prediction value. Chrome's second to Prince Bishop in the World Cup at Meydan was rather a laboured effort to watch, though, notwithstanding the excuse that he was wide into a strong pace.

Coburn and Martin should be lauded for their decision to take the Royal Ascot challenge; if only connections here were so enterprising with their great horses. California Chrome hasn't been exactly sparkling in his work in Britain, according to objective observers, but perhaps he has needed time to get over the draining trip to the Middle East. Perhaps.

At their press day on Thursday, Chrome's connections said they were hoping for a place and that lining up as a 10-1 shot, as the horse is in the advance betting on the Prince of Wales's, is an unusual situation for so talented an animal (it is a good, but not vintage field by the race's standards). Coburn also joked: “I understand the Queen's a Chromie and I am looking forward to meeting her, although I'll have to get a top hat instead of this Stetson. I've also been told I have to wear shoes and I haven't done that since I got out of the U.S. army in 1979.”

It's typically good stuff from Coburn, and while he hasn't always issued the most accurate of predictions, he is dead right about The Queen.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:54 am 
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http://regalbloodlines.com/2015/06/14/c ... yal-ascot/


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:11 am 
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Bobster wrote:
http://regalbloodlines.com/2015/06/14/california-chrome-faces-his-stiffist-challenge-yet-on-wednesday-at-royal-ascot/

Hi Bob,
Nice in depth article. If he wins this under the circumstances it was sprung on CC and his stateside connections, it will be a most phenomenal feat....just to finish in the top 4 would be impressive.
In his last return to the races, after his TC grind, it took some time for him to regain his top fitness level. When he finally did (almost 6 months after the Belmont Stakes), in the BC Classic, he was beaten for 2nd money by a nice Euro colt (Toast Of New York) in his own country, over his home track (dirt).
Hopefully he will be fit and ready for this new venue and the more experienced competition he will face on the turf at Royal Ascot, approximately 2 1/2+ months after he was depleted and defeated in the Dubai World Cup? It certainly would be a tribute to this horse and his Euro connections if he does pull the upset. It is good to see the field is small by Euro standards. I hope he runs well and comes home safe and sound. Looking forward to his race this Wednesday....entries below. TJ
http://www.attheraces.com/ascot/card.aspx?raceid=872587


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 11:04 pm 
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The Breeders Cup Classic is a singular class-defining US dirt race which more often than not determines HOY honors. On occasion horses with top UK turf form compete in the Classic with some success. Giant's Causeway and Sakee came second, Swain third, and in 2008, Raven's Pass and Henrythenavigator ran first and second, with a winning time of 1:59.

In the scheme of things the Prince of Wales is hardly the equivalent of the BC Classic. California Chrome has a proven affinity for the turf and if he runs well it could burnish his international reputation a bit. If he doesn't, it makes little difference. Turf ability is seldom an asset to stud potential in the US.

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"He is pure air and fire and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him; he is indeed a horse ..." Wm. Shakespeare - Henry V


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:05 am 
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California Chrome reported to have bruised foot and is in doubt the run


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:36 pm 
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Could be the best thing that could have happened, more time to get ready for the Coral Eclipse on July 4th against easier. Then again, is it the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Just too many negatives to overcome and over that soft going....a bruised foot?? Unless the yard where he trained was loaded with stones and pebbles...seems unlikely? They are continuing to work on the hoof in hopes he will be pain free by the morning, good luck with that. These things sometimes respond quickly...if it is close to the surface and pops open, otherwise they drag on indefinitely if it is a deep abscess. Sherman says he's pretty sore on it....also said CC never had a pimple on him all the time he was in their care. Here's the story. TJ
http://www.paulickreport.com/news/thoro ... yal-ascot/


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:21 pm 
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The debacle continues.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:43 am 
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Perhaps saving face?
I really don't think he is at the quality of the horses he will see at Ascot.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:41 am 
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I agree Cree. What now? Is the horse just going to be twiddling his bruised foot for the next couple of months or are they actually going to race him somewhere?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:53 am 
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It's official he has been withdrawn from tomorrows race at Royal Ascot. No plans as to his next start currently. Of course that will be the decision of CC's owner, as was this endeavor. Unfortunately he never made either of the planned races his owner picked out for him...can't wait to see where he runs him next? Here's a brief article. TJ
http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/ ... nia-chrome


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:15 am 
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Wesley Ward just had a winner with Acapulco , very impressive


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:07 am 
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TJ wrote:



Taff, what do you think of Free Eagles chances? TJ

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sire strike rate at Ascot
4:20Asc Free Eagle(IRE) High Chaparral(IRE) 5 66 8% 0.58 -67%

Won! Favourite in photo finish


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:38 am 
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Taffy wrote:
TJ wrote:



Taff, what do you think of Free Eagles chances? TJ

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sire strike rate at Ascot
4:20Asc Free Eagle(IRE) High Chaparral(IRE) 5 66 8% 0.58 -67%

Won! Favourite in photo finish

Hi Taff,
Thanks, I was watching the race....never thought CC could beat either of the top two finishers, though I thought The Grey Gatsby was a bit unlucky in this run. Dettori wanted Western Hymm over CC so the tri looked easy...Free Eagle, The Grey Gatsby and Western Hymm, a generous tri payoff, $154 stateside:>) TJ


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