ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – California Chrome, the 2014 Kentucky Derby winner and Horse of the Year, is out of the Arlington Million and unlikely to race again in 2015 after being diagnosed with a bruised cannon bone, trainer Art Sherman said Sunday afternoon.
California Chrome has been stabled at Arlington since Tuesday, when he arrived back in the U.S. from England, and his connections were hoping to race him Aug. 15 in the Arlington Million. Sherman said California Chrome had given a comprehensive X-rays late this week while being vetted out for a possible sale to breeders, at which point the cannon bone bruise was detected.
“He’ll be fine,” Sherman said. “It’s not life-threatening or anything, but it looks like he’ll be out for the rest of the year.”
Sherman said he had just found out about the injury situation from majority owner Perry Martin, who bred and has campaigned California Chrome with partner Steve Coburn. Sherman said, to his knowledge, the prospective sale had been called off after the X-ray findings and that he wasn’t certain where California Chrome would recuperate from the injury, which will require a rest period, or even whether the colt might race again.
“They’re making up their minds now,” said Sherman. “We’ll know more Monday or Tuesday.”
California Chrome hasn’t started since he finished a fine second in the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 28. Shortly thereafter, against the wishes of Coburn, California Chrome was sent to the Newmarket, England, training yard of Rae Guest, with plans to race in the J.T. Lockinge Stakes and the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, but California Chrome made neither intended spot. The Lockinge was said to be coming up too quickly after the World Cup, while California Chrome was scratched from the Prince of Wales’s with a reported foot bruise.
The foot issue appears to be behind California Chrome, but no one seems totally certain what’s in front of the horse who won the Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby, and the Preakness, becoming a star who transcended racing’s traditional borders in so doing.
“He’s just been such a good horse,” Sherman said.