Coburn Hopes California Chrome's Fairytale Journey Continues As Four-Year-Old
Nobody would have expected much from a foal out of a mare claimed for $8,000 by an obscure, $2,500 sire. Nobody would expect much from a colt whose knees were a little crooked and whose trainer and owners weren’t among the racing elite.
For California Chrome, the public had no expectations. His conformation wasn’t perfect, his breeding wasn’t of blue blood, his trainer was in his mid-70s, and his owners were the new kids on an old block. There was no way California Chrome had a chance to amount to anything.
But now California Chrome is popular ,Vox Populi, winner. He is the accomplished Horse of the Year and champion three-year-old male victor, and a dual classic winner.
I spoke to co-owner and co-breeder Steve Coburn about California Chrome, and while he called the colt’s Seabiscuit-esque tale “incredible” the 2015 encore could be even more spectacular.
“[This] is a fairytale come true for us,” Coburn said. “I have to thank all the fans because if it weren’t for the fans we wouldn’t have horse racing. It’s just been an amazing journey for us from buying the filly to watching her foal grow up to become Horse of the Year and to be honored with these two awards is just a dream come true.”
The dream does look like it’s going to end anytime soon, however, as California Chrome is already in heavy training for a four-year-old campaign that could begin with the San Antonio Stakes on February 6 at Santa Anita Park and include such prestigious international events as the Dubai World Cup and Arlington Million.
“Dubai is not out of the question,” trainer Art Sherman said. “I’d have to think we might be heading that way.”
Wherever California Chrome heads in 2015, Coburn said the priority will be on maintaining a healthy, happy horse, and no doubt a return to racing has many happy fans.