Sports

California Chrome ‘thriving’ before World Cup

During morning training, California Chrome stands in the starting gate March 26, 2015, at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in preparation for the 2015 Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest race.
During morning training, California Chrome stands in the starting gate March 26, 2015, at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in preparation for the 2015 Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest race. Dubai Racing Club

After a 25-hour flight from California and coping with an 11-hour time difference, California Chrome apparently has adjusted very well to Dubai, say his co-owners. The 4-year-old thoroughbred looks ready for Saturday’s $10 million Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest race.

“Chrome looked really good this morning,” said Denise Martin via e-mail, “but you know I am a little partial.”

“Chrome looks like he is thriving,” added Perry Martin, her husband.

The Yuba City couple, who own and operate Martin Testing Laboratories in Sacramento, expect another great performance from their champion, America’s 2014 Horse of the Year. Last year, their colt became the first California-born horse to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

Two prior Kentucky Derby winners have won the World Cup: Silver Charm (1998 at age 4) and Animal Kingdom (2013 at age 5).

In the 2,000-meter (1.24-mile) World Cup, Chrome faces defending World Cup champion African Story and two horses familiar to American racing fans. Lea, who is trained by Bill Mott, is a multiple stakes winner based in Florida. Candy Boy finished 13th behind Chrome in the 2014 Kentucky Derby, but now is based in Dubai. Also in the nine-horse field are: Japan Cup winner Epiphaneia, Japanese stakes star Hokko Tarumae, Side Glance, Prince Bishop and Long River.

“Tiring but an interesting trip,” Perry Martin added. “Such wonderful hosts here. The World Cup will be tough running against the best in the world, but I’m confident we are up to the task.”

The World Cup will be shown live at 10 a.m. PDT (9 p.m. Dubai) Saturday on Fox Sports 1 and TVG networks. Cal Expo will also simulcast the race live Saturday morning.

Call The Bee’s Debbie Arrington, (916) 321-1075. Follow her on Twitter @debarrington.

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