Racing News

California Chrome confirmed for SA Derby; Bayern gets back to work

  • California Chrome plans to work Saturday with regular rider Victor Espinoza (Benoit Photo)

Streaking California Chrome will make his next start in the Grade 1, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 5, trainer Art Sherman confirmed Thursday morning from his Los Alamitos headquarters.

"It's a relief that we've made the decision," Sherman said. "The horse will blow out a half-mile Saturday with Victor (regular rider Victor Espinoza) on, and probably have one more half-mile before the race, then ship over five days before we run. The horse is acting really good right now."

Winner of five of nine starts for owners/breeders Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, California Chrome is a California-bred son of Lucky Pulpit who has won his last three races -- all stakes, including the San Felipe on March 8 -- by a combined margin of 19 lengths.

In other news from the Southern California sophomore set, undefeated Bayern returned to the worktab Thursday morning with a four-furlong move in :47 2/5 over Santa Anita's fast main track. Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens was aboard for the work in company with stablemate Superlooper, who was timed in :48.

"He went nice," Bob Baffert said of the Kentucky-bred son of Offlee Wild owned by Kaleem Shah. "He sat behind a horse, he relaxed nice."

Click here for HRTV's video of the work.

A 15-length allowance winner at one mile on February 13, Bayern was scratched from the March 8 San Felipe after developing a bruised hoof.

Asked whether Bayern might run in either the Santa Anita Derby on April 5 or the Arkansas Derby on April 12, Baffert said, "I don't know yet."

Also, trainer John Sadler said that San Vicente winner Kobe's Back returned from his eventful escapade in last Saturday's Rebel Stakes in good shape. The Flatter colt was a non-threatening seventh on a wet-fast track at Oaklawn Park.

"But we don't have a plan yet," Sadler said regarding his next race. "He went back to the track today."

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California Chrome is attempting to become only the fourth California-bred, Kentucky Derby winner in history and the first since Decidedly in 1962.