ELMONT, N.Y. - California Chrome, who is aiming for a sweep of the Triple Crown, schooled in the paddock for the first time on Thursday before proceeding to gallop two miles over the Belmont Park main track.
The 3-year-old, who is slated to compete in the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on June 7 at Belmont Park, walked around the paddock shortly after 6 a.m. before standing in a stall for approximately five minutes. He then proceeded through the tunnel and onto the main track where he jogged clockwise to the half-mile pole before commencing his usual counter-clockwise two-mile gallop.
"He pretty much goes at his own pace," said Alan Sherman, who assists his father, trainer Art Sherman. "Like, you see him the first time around, he's real easy, and then he hits the half-mile pole and starts to pull on [exercise rider] Willie [Delgado] pretty good. Today he was pulling on him a little more than usual."
Alan Sherman said California Chrome likely will school in the paddock multiple times next week before he gallops. The chestnut colt owned by Steven Coburn and Martin Perry will not school in the paddock in the afternoon.
"We don't do a lot of schooling in the afternoon, hardly at all," said Sherman. "We always school in the morning. It's just something we do. Whether it's right or wrong, I don't know. It's just the way we do it."
"I just don't like to interrupt his feeding, his dinner," Sherman added. "I'd just as soon in the morning. We'll do it a couple more times throughout the week."
California Chrome is scheduled to school at the starting gate at 6:30 a.m. on Friday. His Saturday breeze is now scheduled for 6:30 as well, according to Sherman.