Dubai, United Arab Emirates (SportsNetwork.com) – Horse of the Year California
Chrome put in his final workout Tuesday morning ahead of Saturday’s 20th
running of the $10 million Dubai World Cup.
Trained by Art Sherman, “Chrome”, with exercise rider Dana Barnes, covered
four furlongs at Meydan racecourse in 50 seconds.
“He got the last eighth (200m) in 11 seconds,” said Alan Sherman, assistant to
his father. “We just wanted to stretch his legs. If he’s not fit by now, it’s
“He’s not a real heavy horse but I do think he’s grown into his 4-year-old
season and that he’s a lot stronger. I’m just glad the owners (Steve Coburn
and Perry Martin) decided to run him another year.”
“Chrome” finished second in his 2015 debut effort to Shared Belief in the
San Antonio Invitational at Santa Anita on Feb. 7. The colt’s regular jockey
Victor Espinoza will ride on Saturday.
Donn Handicap runner-up Lea, trained by Bill Mott, had another 1 1/2-mile
gallop Tuesday at Meydan. If Lea wins the 1 1/4-mile World Cup it would be
the second for Mott who saddled Cigar to victory in the inaugural Dubai World
Cup in 1996.
“Last year he won the Donn, which is a great stepping stone race to the World
Cup, but then he got sick on us and the goal changed to getting the horse
healthy,” explained assistant trainer Riley Mott. “We brought him back slowly
and let the horse tell us when he was ready to get back at it. He’s running
well now and we think he’s still improving.”
Lea began the year with a second straight win in Gulfstream Park’s Hal’s Hope
Stakes before getting second behind Constitution in the Donn.
“He really ran a bang up race in the Donn and came out of it in great shape,”
Riley Mott said. “The Dubai World Cup is a US$10 million race and it’s back on
dirt. We feel like we have great chance.”
Jockey Joel Rosario, who has been aboard for Lea’s most recent starts, is
slated to ride on Saturday.
Godolphin Racing’s African Story will defend his 2014 World Cup title. His
trainer Saeed Bin Suroor has won the race six times.
“Both African Story and Prince Bishop worked on Saturday and are happy and in
good condition,” the trainer noted. “It will be very tough racing against
California Chrome from America, though our horses have been doing very well.
“They have been getting used to the dirt this year but they don’t like the
kickback and need to be prominent in the race. Prince Bishop has to start
better – he came from last to second in the final round of the Al Maktoum
Challenge. African Story was victorious in last year’s Dubai World Cup and is
now back in peak form.”
Eight horse are expected to start the World Cup after the defection of Ron