Local trainer explains why California Chrome has the goods to win Triple Crown

DEL MAR, Calif. - A local trainer is preparing to join California Chrome in New York in hopes of making racing history.

For the first time, a California horse is making a run at the Triple Crown after victories at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

California Chrome's trainer is 77-year-old San Diegan Art Sherman. 10News caught up with him at his home in Rancho Bernardo.

"I'm excited but right now, I'm calm," said Sherman.

It is the same calm he drew upon for two decades as a jockey. After he retired, he became a trainer in 1979.

For the last 35 years, he has been a successful trainer, but he had never brought a horse to any of the big three races – until now.

"It'd be great to win the Belmont," said Sherman. "Believe me, it's everybody's dream."

Back in September, the Triple Crown was a distant dream. California Chrome finished 6th at a race in Del Mar but caught the eye of veteran jockey Victor Espinoza.

As the story goes, after Espinoza saw the horse at Del Mar, he got on his phone with his agent and said he would love to ride that horse. That got back to Sherman and months later, he paired his horse with Espinoza.

Since then, the horse has won six straight.

"He has no wasted motion when he runs," said Sherman. "He glides over the racetrack."

For the Belmont Stakes, California Chrome will have to go a mile and a half, which is the longest distance he has ever raced.

Sherman believes he can handle it.

"I gallop him two miles a day," he said. "He goes easy the first mile, but in the second mile, he grabs that bit and he's all business."

The horse is also all business in the media spotlight.

"He hears the lenses making noises and looks at them, and boom, it's like, take my picture," said Sherman.

Come June 7, expect that media frenzy to get bigger, as California Chrome races for his place among horse racing's greats.

Horses can lose some 35 pounds after each race, but Sherman says California Chrome has gained it all back and is looking good. He says there is a good chance the horse will return to Del Mar to race this summer.

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