BALTIMORE — It’s more a tickle than a hitch. At least that is how horse trainer Art Sherman characterized the cough California Chrome came up with Thursday morning.
California Chrome, the winner of the Kentucky Derby, is the prohibitive 3-5 favorite to capture the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown. He coughed a couple of times after his morning gallop, and Sherman and his son and assistant trainer, Alan Sherman, decided to have the colt examined.
His blood work came back clean, but a small blister was discovered on his throat. He is being treated with a glycerin throat wash.
“The horse is completely fine,” Alan Sherman said. “His blood work came back perfect. He coughed about four times today and we got him checked out right away. The blister isn’t going to affect him at all; the vet said there were absolutely no other problems, nothing else going on.”
With rain expected through Friday morning, Art Sherman confessed that he was worried about California Chrome catching a cold and a dozen other things.
His colt has won five races in a row. A field of nine rivals stands between him and a chance to pull into New York for the Belmont Stakes with a Triple Crown riding in the balance.
“You’re always watching him, taking his temperature three times a day because of the change in weather,” Sherman said. “One day it’s hot; one day it’s like this. The next day it will be raining. You’ve got to monitor your horse really well and make sure that he is 100 percent. That’s my key worry right now, that he doesn’t catch a cold, or anything like that.”
Alan Sherman said California Chrome had a similar irritation before the Derby.
“He’s fine,” he said. “He had it going into the Derby and it went away. After he ran in there, it came back a little bit, but it’s not a big deal at all.”
|1. Dynamic Impact||12-1|
|2. General a Rod||15-1|
|3. California Chrome||3-5|
|4. Ring Weekend||20-1|
|6. Ria Antonia||30-1|
|7. Kid Cruz||20-1|
|8. Social Inclusion||5-1|
|9. Pablo Del Monte||20-1|
|10. Ride On Curlin||10-1|