California Chrome, The World's Best Horse
Posted 27 January 2017 - 03:46 PM
I like to see them come out on the track and make sure all looks well. Some horses wash out and lose energy in the heat before the race is even run...Sometimes they act up and look unruly, also expending valuable fuel...then there are weather conditions and in Florida they can change hourly...Normally that has been my routine except when real life interferes as it will tomorrow. At that time I either pass on the race or roll the dice. I am rolling the dice.
So, what i've come up with is that California Chrome WILL defeat Arrogate!
You have to be bold playing horses. You have to go with your gut based on the facts as you see them..Let me explain why I am going with him...
First off CC is in tremendous shape. Racing shape compared to Arrogate's workout tab which is exceptional..I have no doubt Baffert will have him as ready as he can be BUT at crunch time when they are eyeballing each other I believe CC will have more in the tank. I base that on him being a fully grown 6 year old who has a really nice prep race under his belt...
Yes it was against lesser types of horses but THE WAY he did it stays on my mind..It is not easy to lose ground racing wide as CC did for nearly the entire way. Great ones can do that and still win against lesser BUT, he didn't just win after that wide trip, HE EXPLODED and drew away to win by 12!
Arrogate needed everything he had at 10F's WHEN he was in racing shape to defeat Chrome. I don't think he can do it again off workouts. Especially at 9 f's. Not against this horse. I feel he will have to work nearly as hard from Post 1 as Chrome will have to work from post 12.
Ok, ....I will concede the quick turn worries me as does the record for wins from Post 12 (lousy) for CC BUT, this is his Swan Song and his last workout was VERY Sharp (5 F, 58 4/5 Breezing) to put the cherry on top of having had a prep race under his belt already..
CC has NEVER been better or sharper,,,,Because it is only 9 F's I feel he can stay wide till the backstretch and be sitting in the Cat Bird's seat, 3rd or 4th as he drops in..
Arrogate will have to be busy early as well and deal with Noble Bird for at least the 1st quarter if not half...By that time Victor should have CC settled and ready to push the button. CC is a push button horse too..You can treat him like a car, in other words he will rate and wait until you say go. That's how he won in Dubai and other races.
I believe he has been a great horse and will Crown that greatness by getting his revenge against Arrogate...
I do think Arrogate may be better this year than last..Most times 4 year olds are BUT..this IS first time out for him this year with no prep and he is meeting a RAZOR Sharp Champion...
I am not looking to make a fortune. I want to turn $100 into about $350 - $400...The bet is a $100 straight Exacta 12 over 1...If I get a price of 6 - 8 dollars on that bet I will reach the above goal..I could get a $10 dollar price but I think $8 is more realistic...This is no race to reverse the exacta (normally a prudent thing to do)...prices are not great to begin with. I have to put my eggs in one basket..
With my remaining $50 I am going to play two $20 Trifectas and one $10 trifecta hoping to add to my exacta spoils,,,,For $20 I will play a straight Trifecta 12 - 1- 9 who is Keen Ice and he should be good for 3rd....
If not my second $20 Trifecta will be 12 - 1 - 4 who is Noble Bird..I feel in my gut that he just may be on the lead longer than most think and be good enough to hang on for 3rd,,,
With my last $10 I will go 12 - 1 - 11 who is Eragon, the Argentinian horse...Even though he is breaking from Post 11 he is a closer and it wont matter much to him as he goes to the rail trailing before launching his move which I admit I am hoping he has quality enough to pass tiring horses for 3rd....I am reaching here, especially with most of his races having been on grass.
For those not in the know about betting yet interested in the race as fans of CC, My $100 exacta means I will have it 50X's if it comes in..So at a price of $8 I will collect $400..
The $20 Trifectas mean I will get the trifecta price 10 Xs IF..and that is a big if..A $40 price on a trifecta would get another $400..Its' tough to know what trifectas will pay. The exacta you can guess more or less but trifecta pools are tricky...
The $10 exacta I have means I will hit that 5Xs..If Eragon is 3rd I could get a $100 Trifecta 5 Xs...Just guessing but the Trifectas are my "Gravy" bets anyway...I expect to hit the exacta but a trifecta would be gravy on top..Win or lose I am watching as a fan. These kind of match ups don't come along every day. It is indeed an historic race and COULD become a new trend with owners shelling out..A successful outcome would mean the Pegasus will have another try next year and most likely Arrogate will be the horse to beat in that one. CC will be taking care of the ladies
Thanks to all who followed this thread and are fans of CC..He WILL have his work cut out for him against another great horse but I feel like he is ready to leave it ALL on the race track in his final race. His Swan Song. And I believe the distance is the key.
GL to all who play and please, don't follow me, I usually play long shots and lose a lot. When I win I usually get it back and then some....Not in this race though. I am playing logic and form as I see it..
Trails will do a recap of the race on Saturday night or Sunday Morning. Lets hope they all have a safe trip and hope you will root for a great California Bred horse too
Posted 28 January 2017 - 08:43 AM
In an earlier post I said I prefer Chrome on the lead even though he is an excellent stalker. Arrogate as well. They both have options. In this race however I think if you see Chrome insist on having the lead he will get beat imo...only because it would require maximum effort getting there from post 12 and they will push him from the inside knowing that.
I want him to use his speed and drop in behind the front runners.
I also want to say as a fan of racing it is very possible Arrogate is just this good. He may just be better than Chrome and that's saying a lot. We are really seeing two greats no matter how it plays out. I am saying it would not shock me if Arrogate is sent and goes wire to wire Match Race style. If he does though Chrome will certainly make him earn it...GL again to all...I am off to play with the grand kiddies.
Posted 28 January 2017 - 05:51 PM
Arrogate Wins Pegasus! Best Horse in the World! Chrome Falters, does not run his race..........
Well I wanted to give Arrogate his due with a headline and he does deserve it. He is the real deal and winner of 6 in a row now. Had he not gotten off slowly in his first start as new horses to the game often do he'd be undefeated. Even in that first race he gave signs of what lay ahead closing with a furious rush to just miss at the wire.
The race was a HUGE LETDOWN though. It's sad because Chrome not only lost but he didn't bring his race. This was THE worst he has ever run too. Go figure.
If you watched you would have heard them comparing this to Ali - Frazier I. Such was the anticipation. Picture Frazier knocking out Ali in the 1st round instead of going those15 grueling rounds. That's what this was like. It WAS that huge a letdown for racing. I am more bummed out for not seeing the two best horses in the world throw down than I am for losing $150 bucks. Such a letdown for the fans and for the race itself. Remember this was an experimental race. The idea of owners putting up and bringing the best to knock heads. I have doubts there will be a Pegasus II. We'll see.
The concept sounded great but we already talked about the reality of filling the gate with 12 worthy horses. On paper and on the racetrack this field could have passed for a Grade III race save for the winner and Chrome. It turned out to be a bust. It all depended on the big two throwing down with a thriller to the wire. Not to be,
We have to remember horses are flesh and blood creatures like ourselves. We all know those days we wake up and don't want to go to work or school. We have a stomach ache or cold, we feel lethargic. We just want to be left alone and stay in bed. Going on looks one would not think so about Chrome. He looked MAGNIFICENT! He really did.
We wont know why he decided to throw in the clunker of his life. They will probably scope him as they do at times and many times they find a horse was bleeding internally (lungs) or had any number or things wrong and it at least explains the poor performance. We'll have to wait and see if that happens. Sometimes they just don't like the surface of a new track and can't grab hold like they are used to.
Again though Chrome had been here working great and acclimating. He had a big edge over Arrogate who missed a prep race due to rains at Santa Anita and shipped in days ago with no time to acclimate having only his workouts for his foundation. Big edge for Chrome.
I am not saying Arrogate isn't the best in the world. Indeed he is BUT, I am sure they themselves wanted to prove it by beating Chrome again in a thrilling stretch duel. Even winning Jockey Mike Smith said "That's not the Chrome I know". He ought to know. Chrome made them dig with everything they had to beat him last time and needed 10 furlongs to do it.
Chrome broke well but did not have his usual zip so he got hung 6 wide for an instant. Right there one had to wonder. However he did quickly get good position dropping in though he still was 3 wide. With all that said it still does not explain what happened after. I thought he was ok and even started counting my chickens. I thought "Oh good, he has Arrogate pinned in" The next instant I saw Victor pumping just to keep up as Arrogate and even the two longies were going easy on their own. I knew right then he would lose.
What I didn't expect was for him to toss in the towel as he did. At this moment it is unexplainable. We can't take anything away from Arrogate who is indeed now in Super Horse territory. Most likely he would have beat Chrome even if all was well. I have to say that. I was wrong. It's just a shame. Especially after him having a great prep race and acclimating to Florida with a great workout. All the buildup and anticipation was for nothing as often happens in sports. Especially racing.
The program itself was a good one putting racing's best foot forward but you have to have the performance on the race track. They talked about the new concept. They talked about how Victor actually said Chrome was the best horse he ever rode. Many eyebrows were raised because he rode the great now legendary Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
BTW they showed the stud fees for both horses. The Pharoah gets 200K a throw to use street talk. CC starts his career at 40K per. This shows the Blue Blood expectations compared to the very humbly bred Chrome. Thats why they kept him racing when most would have retired for the riches of Breeding. And he did not let them down. That's why this race was huge for them though. It hurts their potential business in the breeding shed. Of course if CC produces a Derby winner in 3 years his fee could shoot up to match American Pharoah and the ladies will come a knocking.
Afterward CC's trainer Art Sherman, who happened to be the exercise boy back in the day for the first legendary California Bred, Swaps, said CC looked listless. Yes he did but why? We may never know. Just a bad day. Perhaps news will come out in the next few days. We have to be careful what to believe, owners many times fabricating excuses. One thing is for sure, Chrome did NOT run his race.
The people chose right, Trails did not. They made Arrogate THE 4-5 FAVORITE,,CC WAS 6-5. The other horses truthfully did not belong. Arrogate won easily and was also Geard Down the last 100 yards. Had he ridden him out he could have won by 10 -15 lengths but a great jockey like Mike Smith knew to save his horse for the next battle..Each race does take it's toll.
Chrome was also allowed to finish on his own with no urging and was almost EASED finishing 9th..They would not punish him to get 3rd or 4th once they knew he was going to lose. He is too valuable. He may have broken down God forbid. It happens all the time. He is still a great story and a Legend in his own right. The story continues too with his stud career.
Racing has another Super Horse now in Arrogate who added 7 million to his 4 already earned putting his 11 mil second to Chromes 14. There was some talk that Arrogate will NOT go to Dubai in March. I don't know why other than it is very grueling for a horse to do that travel and come back the same. Many don't. Perhaps he will go now after this easy win. They have PLENTY of horse left. This race took nothing out of him.
We should remember Chrome and his two trips to Dubai being 2nd and winning the next. He came back off that to be HOTY so he is remarkable. Maybe all he gave to racing showed today. He is 6 and it's a prime age so I tend to think not but again, this was BY FAR his worst performance.
Anyways thanks for tagging along with Trails. I had fun pretending to have my own racing column and enjoyed seeing the interest going by the numbers of hits we recieved.
I will also be happy to post any breaking news that comes out from this race. I intend to start a Kentucky Derby thread in late February or early March and I will follow ALL the horses being pointed for the American Classic on the first Saturday in May along with the various preps they go in. The derby is referred to as the most exciting 2 minutes in sports. I will also do a Dubai World Cup Post in late March for that big one day event. Hopefully some fans of the game will join in here. Horse players love nothing better than to shoot the breeze with other players. And I'd also be happy to answer any questions or inquiries one may have.
Sorry about the above spacing...what button did I hit anyway?
Posted 29 January 2017 - 09:05 AM
California Chrome's injury to his right knee does not appear to be anything major, so he will depart Gulfstream Park later this morning for Kentucky, where he begins stud duty soon.
California Chrome had swelling in that knee after finishing ninth on Saturday in the Pegasus World Cup. On Sunday morning, Frank Taylor of Taylor Made Farm said, "He's not that bad," certainly fine to fly and be X-rayed after arrival at the farm.
Taylor said Dr. Larry Bramlage would examine the X-rays. Barring something unforeseen, Taylor said California Chrome is perfectly sound to be bred to mares, and he's scheduled to be bred to test mares as soon as Wednesday.
"He's got some heat and some filling. He's sound to walk, but he's off at the jog. If he's sound to walk, he's sound to breed mares," Taylor said.
The accompanying photo is of Chrome this morning.
More later after Chrome leaves here at www.drf.com
Posted 29 January 2017 - 09:24 AM
Owners are known for covering for their horses when a bad performance is thrown. CC, being the beast he has been ran 9th to horses he would beat by 10 lengths when right. Trainer Art Sherman has always been a man with integrity. I believe these reports. That doesn't mean he would have beaten Arrogate but he certainly may have. He was obviously NOT the California Chrome we all know and love.
California Chrome unable to perform up to his usual greatness
Mike Welsch | Daily Racing Form
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -- Art Sherman stood quietly back at the barn, a look of both disappointment and incredulity on his face, still trying to pinpoint a reason for California Chrome's lackluster performance only minutes earlier in the $12 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park. And within short order he may have found the answer -- some fluid in California Chrome's right knee. Nothing major, but surely enough to prevent the two-time champion from performing his best in the final race of his remarkable career.
"It might be a chip, which we could take out arthroscopically," Sherman said.
Sherman said he could see five furlongs into the race that California Chrome, ridden by Victor Espinoza, obviously wasn't himself.
- Arrogate wins over California Chrome
Arrogate has beaten California Chrome again, winning the $12 million Pegasus World Cup on Saturday in his rival's last race before retirement.
"He had to rush him leaving there, but down the backside he was sitting in a perfect spot right next to Arrogate, and he just didn't go on," Sherman said. "I could understand him being outrun, but he never even tried. He never fired. That's just not like him. I've never seen him hang like that before."
Espinoza also sensed something was wrong as the field neared the half-mile pole.
"Coming to the half-mile pole he was empty," Espinoza said. "Arrogate was inside me, and I wanted to go with him, and I can't. There was nothing I could have done different. He just completely shut down. Hopefully he's okay. It looked like he was OK. It really surprised me, because he never really ran a bad race before today. Sometimes they have physical problems, or you think you could have ridden them a little differently. But that wasn't the case today. I can't ask any more from him, all he's done for me, all he's done for the sport. He just didn't have it today."
Sherman said the only sense he had something might be wrong prior to the race came shortly before the start.
"He reared up just before going into the starting gate," Sherman said. "He's never done that before. That was something new."
Espinoza also said he was surprised at how California Chrome acted behind the gate.
California Chrome did not fire in Saturday's Pegasus World Cup and finished ninth in the $12 million race at Gulfstream. Emily Shields
"He took back a little, like he didn't want to go in the gate," Espinoza said. "Maybe he was trying to tell me something was not right."
Sherman said even though California Chrome ended his career on a down note, his ninth-place finish in the Pegasus World Cup should have little effect on his legacy. California Chrome will retire as a two-time Horse of the Year and as the richest North American-based horse with earnings of more than $14,750,000. Had he won the Pegasus Cup, he would have retired as the richest horse in the world.
"He had one bad race after so many good ones," Sherman said. "It's been an unbelievable journey with him, even in defeat. He's still got all those wins next to his name. He's still a champion."
Posted 29 January 2017 - 09:27 AM
I just want to point out what Victor said about Chrome acting up just before going in. He acted like, "No, not today" and reared a bit before calmly walking in. He'd never done that before and I thought nothing of it really until watching how he ran and then reading these injury reports.
Posted 29 January 2017 - 11:32 AM
Posted 29 January 2017 - 01:20 PM
The way Chrome balked at going in the gate leads me to think he may have taken a bad step warming up. Who knows. I'm sure more reports will appear In the coming days.
Posted 29 January 2017 - 02:31 PM
BCF, yes definitely hurt and definitely deserving of the good life now. Sad day for racing though. Expectations were so high for the race. I feel cheated like the rest of the racing world. Thankfully it was not a tragic ending for his career like so many others. Go For Wand, Barbaro and Ruffian come to mind among so many. These beautiful creatures give us all they have and are always one bad step away from tragedy.
The way Chrome balked at going in the gate leads me to think he may have taken a bad step warming up. Who knows. I'm sure more reports will appear In the coming days.
Yes, I agree on all counts. They love to run but some have suffered horrific injuries. It's a lot of weight on lower legs that are just a few inches around--the stress and strain at 40 mph must be unbelievable.
Posted 29 January 2017 - 04:22 PM
Posted 31 January 2017 - 06:58 AM
Just an update on the Chrome injury..X Rays show all is normal..Of course this has many saying it was all BS to cover both the reputation of the horses and his stud fee (40K)..This is the normal back and forth that goes on between camps of backers and admirers, even connections..I maintain that if Sherman says there was fluid, swelling and heat then he should be believed...The proof was really in the performance if you ask me or most astute handicappers..Chrome was never a factor and the truth is even in his losses he always was a huge factor,,,Do the math...
Below is an article (kind of long but interesting) on Chrome from yesterday
Hovdey: Chrome goes out with a flicker rather than a blaze
Sometime around 7 p.m. last Saturday, Raul Rodriguez was informed that he had won the $100 prize for the groom with the best-turned-out horse in the paddock for the $12 million Pegasus World Cup.
“Oh, yeah?” Rodriguez said, looking up from his work. “That’s good.”
A hundred bucks is a hundred bucks. But as consolations go, the news came as but a tiny drop in a deep bucket of disappointment and sadness. For nearly four years, California Chrome had been the canvas on which Rodriguez had painted his masterpiece, and now that masterpiece was in the stall next to a tack room in Gulfstream’s Barn 2, head down, right knee filled, surrounded by family and friends murmuring in the darkness.
They knew what happened. They had ideas as to when it happened. And they knew why it happened, because Thoroughbreds risk injury from the moment they stir each morning. As to why what happened had to happen on this day of days, when California Chrome appeared to be ready to end his career with a race that mirrored some of the best he’d ever run, there was no reasonable answer.
For weeks, he had telegraphed that all was well. From the moment Art Sherman joined his son Alan in town, there had been three sets of hands on all four legs every day. And despite the increasing crowds around the barn as the day of the Pegasus neared, the crew and their security minders were able to keep people reasonably at bay.
“I’ve got a really good feeling,” Art Sherman said three days out. “A feeling like he might really do something special.”
After three seasons in the limelight, California Chrome’s rituals had become widely known. His predawn gallops followed the familiar arc during race week, tapering to a wrong-way jog the morning of the race that was, for rider Dihigi Gladney, like wrestling a lit fuse.
“You want to sell that saddle on eBay, leave the stains on,” Gladney said, beaming his trademark grin. “It’ll bring more money.”
Bath, walk, rinse the feet, and put him away. Tick-tock the morning went by like clockwork, although California Chrome was not pleased to be led out of his stall for the required examination by the official veterinarian.
“Whoa!” cried out Alan Sherman as the red horse pulled Rodriguez down the shed row at an explosive trot and tried to make the sunlit exit gap. The vet made them return and do it again, slower this time.
Later in the morning, as fans began to arrive at the track, California Chrome was given a fresh set of racing plates from his regular farrier, Judd Fisher, who had flown in from California the night before. If you would like to describe a job filled with pressure, try pounding nails into the feet of a horse about to run for a $7 million prize. Fisher was asked if this last shoeing felt any different.
“No,” he replied. “But I’m glad it’s over.”
And then came the long wait for the last hurrah. No detail had been neglected, no superstition left unchecked. Gladney was wearing his California Chrome tie of many colors. Bob Hawkins, Alan Sherman’s good friend, wore the vintage Nikes last seen at the track the day in 1989 when Alan won two races – as a jockey. And there was even a blessing from a pigeon in the barn rafters, who dropped one with uncanny precision down the back of Rodriguez’s neck as he held Chrome for his shoeing.
At 5 o’clock sharp, with Rodriguez at the shank and Gladney with a strap on the right, California Chrome came to a dead stop on the walk from the backside and stared at the packed grandstand in the distance, ears cocked. Alan Sherman waved the others on – Shaman Ghost, Keen Ice, Noble Bird – until California Chrome continued to rising cheers from fans on the rail.
Even with traces of foamy sweat between his back legs, California Chrome earned that $100 for Rodriguez as he entered the packed amphitheater paddock. Once on the track, he had several more moments of reflective stillness under Victor Espinoza, who finally had to make his horse giddy-up to the starting gate. There, Chrome spun and tossed his head before entering – “That was unusual,” Espinoza said later – as the crowd pressed close to his No. 12 stall.
His race did not last long. California Chrome broke with a leap, then was hustled for position to the ridiculously close first turn. Somehow, Espinoza managed to have his horse only four paths deep. Up in the stands, Art Sherman allowed himself a brief spasm of relief.
“Now it’s up to the horse,” he thought.
In fact, things were already going wrong, and by the time the field reached the half-mile marker, California Chrome’s career was done.
“I had Arrogate right where I wanted him, to the inside, then I had no horse,” Espinoza said.
That was that. California Chrome’s final line will read “9th, beaten 29 1/2 lengths,” which is a shame for a horse of such consistent generosity. Still, they call it a Hollywood ending for a reason, because Hollywood rarely calls.
Damascus, wearing front bandages, was a shadow of his greatness when he was eased not far into the 1968 Jockey Club Gold Cup, the final start of his Hall of Fame career, and finished in a jog. Because of his ankles, every race could have been Forego’s last, but he was owed a more noble send-off than his surrender in the Belmont slop in the 1978 Suburban Handicap, finishing a pole behind Upper Nile. And who would argue that Lady’s Secret didn’t deserve a better valedictory than her last dance, a modest Saratoga allowance, when she bolted around the first turn?
However, given his history, it was reasonable to expect that California Chrome would go out guns blazing, win or lose. Seabiscuit, Native Diver, Secretariat, Affirmed, John Henry, Alysheba – they all made their final bows in a winner’s circle somewhere – while stars like Cigar, Zenyatta, and Rachel Alexandra may have narrowly lost the last battle but already had won the war.
“Chrome doesn’t owe me a thing,” Alan Sherman said Saturday evening as he watched his horse begin to show signs of life even with a touchy knee.
“I just feel so bad for the horse,” said Art Sherman, for whom Chrome’s soundness was a point of particular pride. “And for all his fans that they didn’t get to see the real Chrome one more time.”
His sorrow was palpable even in light of all the history he made with the colt from California’s Central Valley. Somehow, Sherman managed a smile as he gathered for one last family photo, including his great-grandson Logan, around California Chrome’s stall. Then it was time to go.
“Padron,” said Rodriguez, placing a hand on Sherman’s arm. “It’s okay. Now you train his babies.”
Posted 31 January 2017 - 08:36 AM
It will be interesting to see what the demand is for him as a stud... and how his babies do (which we won't know for 3 years). With his modest breeding, he kind of seems like a one-off that might not pass his talent down to offspring. But we'll see!
Posted 02 February 2017 - 07:15 AM
Thought I'd be done with this thread but this deserves some attention. It could possibly mean another track record for Super Horse Arrogate. Some may think this is why Chrome faded so quickly. Nonsense to that. Chrome did NOT run his race and had swelling and heat in his leg afterwards...Arrogate though continues to be awesome..This is not something that happens often but it does.
In 1973, Secretariat broke the track record and also the Derby record at Churchill Downs. He also OBLITERATED the record at Belmont in the Belmont Stakes..In between at the Preakness he did not but it was later changed to another track record! Talk about Super Horses. In my heart, as great as Arrogate is and may become Secretariat was 5 lengths better. 10 lengths at the Belmont distance of 1 1/2 miles.
Final time of Pegasus being formally reviewed
The final time of last Saturday's $12-million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park is being reviewed by officials of the track and its timing company, officials said late on Wednesday.
The officials said that it is likely that the time will be adjusted based on the review, reflecting a faster time for the winner Arrogate. The official time of the Pegasus was 1:47.61, three-quarters of a second slower than the official 1 1/8-mile record at Gulfstream, 1:46.86, set in the 2014 Donn Handicap.
The official time of the race has been questioned by several prominent makers of speed figures over the last several days, based on hand-timing of race replays using video-editing software. Producers of the Beyer Speed Figures, which appear in Daily Racing From, and of the TimeForm figures have already both adjusted their figures under the belief that the official timing was in error.
The official timer at Gulfstream is Trakus, which uses an array of antennas and trasmitters inserted in horse's saddleclothes to determine when horses reach specific points on the track, akin to a localized GPS system. Late on Wednesday, Gulfstream officials asked Trakus to perform a detailed re-analysis of the data from its system on the Pegasus.
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