California Chrome shines in Pacific Classic romp

Dubai World Cup winner California Chrome destroyed his rivals

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker ( California Chrome shines in Pacific Classic romp By Tony McFadden 8:40AM 21 AUG 2016

Report: America, Saturday

Del Mar: $1 million TVG Pacific Classic (Grade 1) 1m2f, dirt, 3yo+

CALIFORNIA CHROME (Art Sherman/Victor Espinoza) may have a bulging CV with wins in some of the sport's most presitigous races such as the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Dubai World Cup, but he put up arguably the best performance of his career in the Pacific Classic when easily brushing aside high-class rivals Beholder and Dortmund.

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Dortmund had made California Chrome pull out all the stops in the San Diego Derby last month – admittedly in receipt of 5lb – while star mare Beholder, who won this race last year, had racked up an impressive sequence of Grade 1 wins.

However, what some expected to be a closely-fought contest quickly developed into a rout as California Chrome, sent straight into the lead by Victor Espinoza, raced enthusiastically before bounding clear entering the straight to win by five lengths.

Lucky to have him

"I can't say enough about the horse… a dream come true," trainer Art Sherman said immediately after the race.

"I know that if he is on the lead then he must be comfortable. He's push-button. He can come from off the pace or on the pace, that's what good horses can do.

"I just can't believe that I'm lucky enough to have him," the trainer added.

Gary Stevens, rider of runner-up Beholder, was in no doubt that the winner had produced a special performance. He said: "Victor was playing with us. I don't think he really let him run. That's scary to think about."

California Chrome was cut to as short as 5-4 for the Breeders' Cup Classic, where he could meet 14-length Met Mile winner Frosted in what would be a mouth-watering clash.

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