Talented American galloper California Chrome is set to miss out on a clash with Criterion in the 2015 Prince of Wales’s Stakes after being found with a foot abscess this morning.
California Chrome was on track to take on the likes of Criterion, Free Eagle, Ectot, Spielberg and The Grey Gatsby in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot tomorrow night (AEST), but trainer Art Sherman revealed that the reigning United States Horse Of The Year had failed to respond to soaking, packing and poulticing of his foot and would likely be scratched from the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.
“It’s devastating,” Sherman told The Racing Post.
“We have never had a pimple on this horse all the time we’ve had him but the abscess popped out and the foot wasn’t good.
“I am so sorry he can’t run.”
California Chrome made his racing debut at Hollywood Park in the United States in June of 2013 and he stamped himself as a horse to watch when he recorded a dominant seven lengths victory in the Group 2 San Felipe Stakes (1710m) at Santa Anita on March 8 last year and he was backed into dominant favouritism for the Kentucky Derby when he scored another easy win in the Group 1 Santa Anita Derby (1810m) on April 5.
The Lucky Pulpit entire justified his Kentucky Derby favouritism when he beat Commanding Curve and Danza to win the Group 1 event at Churchill Downs on May 3 and he gave himself a shot at winning the Triple Crown when he took out the Group 1 Preakness Stakes (1910m) at Pimlico on May 17, but he finished fourth behind Tonalist in the Group 1 Belmont Stakes (2413m) at Belmont Park on June 7.
California Chrome suffered disappointing defeats in both the Group 2 Pennsylvania Derby (1810m) and the Group 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic (2012m), but he returned to winning form in the Group 1 Hollywood Derby (1810m) at Del Mar and he has produced strong second place finishes in both the Group 2 San Antonio Invitational Stakes (1810m) at Santa Anita and Group 1 Dubai World Cup (2000m) this season.
California Chrome has now drifted out to 2015 Prince of Wales’s Stakes odds of $17, while Free Eagle ($3.75) remains a clear favourite from Ectot ($5.50), The Grey Gatsby ($6), Western Hymn ($8), Cannock Chase ($9) and Criterion ($11).