California Chrome sidelined
[Note: Since this post was evolving with the news cycle, you can see how the sequence began with California Chrome being out of the Arlington Million (G1) and ultimately progressed into a possible retirement.]
There was breaking news on California Chrome late Sunday afternoon, according to this Facebook post by DAP Racing:
A few minutes later, the following was posted on the California Chrome Facebook page associated with trainer Art Sherman's stable:
The reigning Horse of the Year had been ruled out of the June 17 Prince of Wales's (G1) at Royal Ascot due to a foot bruise. Shipping from England to Chicago early last week, he arrived at Arlington Tuesday and cleared quarantine Thursday morning.
As this situation is still developing, stay tuned for further updates about the status of the 2014 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) hero.
Update I: Sherman told the Blood-Horse's Jeremy Balan that the injury could signal the end of Chrome's career.
"Art Sherman confirmed California Chrome is out for at least three months with a bruised cannon bone. Probably done for year, maybe career," Balan tweeted (@BH_JBalan).
Personal update: It's a sad twist to the whole story that Chrome's co-owner/breeder, Steve Coburn, learned of the bombshell on Facebook, via the DAP Racing page connected with Martin (the majority owner).
The partnership had been fraying in recent months, especially in the wake of Chrome's international ventures, and according to the "Coburns of California Chrome" Facebook page, the communication with Martin was at a dispiritingly low ebb.
Still, one would have hoped that when something as significant as a cannon bone issue was diagnosed, forcing Chrome out of the Million and beyond, the information would have been personally shared. For the Coburns to find out on social media, that had to be salt in the wound.
Update II: Sherman and Coburn each told the San Diego Union Tribune's Ed Zieralski that Chrome was likely to be retired rather than mount a comeback in 2016.
"He could easily come back next year, but I think the owners are going to breed him," Sherman said.
"We were told it’s a three- to six-month deal for Chrome to heal from this, so that puts him out for the year," Coburn said. "I haven’t had a chance to talk to my partner about it, but my guess is he'll go to stud."
Update III: In his full report on the Blood-Horse, Balan reveals that Chrome's injury actually came to light while he was being vetted as a stallion prospect: "The injury...was discovered during an examination for the purposes of evaluating the 4-year-old colt for an undisclosed possible stud deal."