Art Sherman fails to endorse California Chrome’s presence at Dubai World Cup

Trainer Art Sherman said it is California Chrome’s owners who are the driving force behind the decision to race America’s Horse of the Year in the Dubai World Cup.

Trainer Art Sherman with California Chrome. Sherman is not too pleased California Chrome  Garry Jones / AP
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Trainer Art Sherman said it is California Chrome’s owners who are the driving force behind the decision to race America’s Horse of the Year in the Dubai World Cup.

Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, who also bred the four-year-old colt, have had their eyes trained on Meydan Racecourse.

California Chrome remains on course for the US$10 million (Dh36.7m) race and will use the clash with Shared Belief in the San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita Park on Saturday as a springboard for the March 28 fixture.

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Sherman has never been to Dubai but showed an interest in racing at Nad Al Sheba when he nominated Siren Lure, his Grade 1 sprinter, to World Cup night in 2007. The horse’s owners backed out.

The 77-year-old American, who became the oldest trainer to win a Kentucky Derby last year when California Chrome prevailed at Churchill Downs, does not appear to be as keen this time.

“The purse has a lot to do with it,” he said from California. “The owners always said they wanted him to run against the best in the world, so I suppose that is where we will have to go.

“To me, it is a long way. I’ve never been there before. Your horse goes over there and they say it takes three months to ­recover.”

It is a sentiment shared by Shared Belief’s owners, who include Jim Rome, the American sports talk-show host, and Alex Solis, the jockey.

“We talked briefly about the World Cup among our partners and we haven’t totally ruled it out,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said. “The interest level to go is not very high for our particular partnership. We are enjoying running our horses in the US and I don’t think we are going in that direction.”

The San Antonio Stakes, previously known as the San Antonio Handicap, has been a traditional warm-up for the World Cup, having been used successfully by Well Armed before his win at Nad Al Sheba in 2009 and Pleasantly Perfect in 2004. Shared Belief, the former American champion juvenile, was considered the favourite for the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November but was severely hampered and finished fourth.

Dubai World Cup-bound Toast Of New York finished second behind Bayern, while California Chrome was third.

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