California Chrome reunites with Art Sherman at Pimlico for Preakness Stakes
Baltimore, MD - Trainer Art Sherman arrived at Pimlico Race Course Tuesday afternoon, reuniting with California Chrome, his Kentucky Derby winner and likely heavy favorite for Saturday's 139th running of the Preakness Stakes (G1).
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The 77-year-old Sherman, who became the oldest trainer to saddle a Kentucky Derby winner at Churchill Downs on May 3, had taken a break from the 2014 Triple Crown campaign on May 5 while tending to his Southern California-based stable.
"He looks great," said Sherman after greeting the chestnut colt in Stall 40 at the Preakness Stakes Barn, the traditional spot reserved each year for the Kentucky Derby winner. "He's holding his weight, which is one of the big factors."
Sherman enjoyed a hero's welcome when he returned to Los Alamitos Race Course, which will hold a thoroughbred meeting this season in the absence of racing at the shuttered Hollywood Park.
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"When I went back to Los Alamitos, where his home base is, on the marquee, it said, `California Chrome, Home of the Kentucky Derby Winner.' It was really cool," Sherman said. "It's very exciting to have a Derby horse. You think you maybe have a shot for the Triple Crown. You don't know. I'm the kind of guy who goes race by race, but I wouldn't want to be in anyone else's shoes."
California Chrome, who became the first California-bred horse to win the Run for the Roses in 52 years, would be the fifth horse bred in the Golden State with a victory Saturday, joining Snow Chief (1986), Candy Spots (1963), Kalitan (1917) and Old England (1902).
"It means a lot to the whole industry and to racing, which we needed," said Sherman, who rode at Bowie Race Course in 1959 but was making his first visit to Pimlico Wednesday. "We need stars right now and I think we've got a chance."
California Chrome, who arrived at Pimlico from Kentucky Monday afternoon, jogged once around the track Tuesday morning and is scheduled to be sent out for a gallop Wednesday at 6:45 a.m. Sherman will be available to the media at the podium adjacent to the Preakness Stakes Barn between 7:30 and 8 a.m. each morning leading up to Saturday's Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.
Bet the Preakness Stakes Online
Bet the Preakness Stakes online at OffTrackBetting.com. The 139th running of the 2014 $1,000,000 Preakness Stakes (Grade I), the second jewel of the Triple Crown, is set for Saturday, May 17, 2014 at the historic Pimlico race course. The second leg of the US Triple Crown, often referred to as the Run for the Black-Eyed Susans, is contested by three-year-old thoroughbreds on a dirt track measuring 1 3/16 miles. All members will be able to watch & place wagers on the Preakness online or by mobile wagering from your phone or tablet.
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OffTrackBetting.com offers a bets on the remaining Triple Crown Races. Did you know that on May 23, 1873 the first edition of the Preakness took place? Two years before the inaugural Kentucky Derby, the folks at Pimlico were busy working on a new three-year old stakes race of their own. Pimlico, which since its opening in 1870 had conducted all of its racing in the fall, ran its first Spring Meet in the year of 1873, with the initial running of the Preakness held on May 23. The Preakness was founded by then-Maryland governor Oden Bowie. Governor Bowie's term had actually ended in 1872, yet that did not prevent him from naming the then- mile and a half race in honor of the colt who won the Dinner Party Stakes in 1870 on the occasion of Pimlico's opening. At an 1868 Saratoga party hosted by a Milton Sanford, Bowie guaranteed that Maryland would have a track available for a race that was later dubbed the Dinner Party Stakes and had been instantly promoted by Bowie at the party when he offered $15,000 as a purse--no small sum at the time.