California Chrome to ship to Arlington Monday

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July 2nd, 2015

Horse of the Year California Chrome, whose recent foot bruise ruled him out of the June 17 Prince of Wales's (Eng-G1) at Royal Ascot, is scheduled to ship out of Rae Guest's Newmarket yard Monday bound for his next assignment: the August 15 Arlington Million (G1). His travel date is reported in the first installment of the "Road to the Million 2015."

In keeping with the plan announced June 21, California Chrome is prolonging his absence from trainer Art Sherman's Southern California base. Away from his home state since mid-March, when he ventured to Dubai and finished second in the $10 million World Cup (UAE-G1) March 28, the popular chestnut then extended his international tour to England. He has been enjoying Guest's hospitality for the past three months, only to see his Newmarket sojourn come to naught when missing Royal Ascot. He will now travel straight to Chicago, where he will settle in at Arlington and prepare for the Million.

Co-owner Steve Coburn tweeted last Saturday that California Chrome has been fitted with bar shoes on his front feet "to help keep weight off his heels," but that the star colt was "doing good."

On Thursday, Guest tweeted photos of Chrome in his footwear:

In the build-up to Royal Ascot, prior to the development of the foot problem, some members of Team Chrome (Coburn and the Shermans, father Art and son Alan) sounded a very circumspect note about his chances. Partly that was because of how much the Dubai World Cup took out of him, partly because of the lofty standard of international competition. In any event, they made clear that co-owner Perry Martin was driving the decisionmaking.

It's disappointing that the Chrome story, which had so many feel-good elements last year, has since devolved into a partnership at odds over his 2015 campaign. Hopefully this Arlington interlude will work out better than England did. But for whatever it's worth, I'd prefer him to return to the place he's known to be home, once again live under Sherman's roof where he has thrived in the past, and gear up for the decisive second half of this season.

Benoit Photo of California Chrome winning last November's Hollywood Derby (G1).