Report: California Chrome returning to races in Pennsylvania Derby
AUG 21, 2014 4:52p ET
Reigning Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome will make his return to the races on Sept. 20 in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, trainer Art Sherman told Philly.com.
"The money helped the decision," Sherman said Thursday.
California Chrome -- who won the first two legs of the Triple Crown before finishing in a dead heat for fourth in the Belmont -- will be the first reigning Kentucky Derby winner to race at the track. Spectacular Bid and Smarty Jones each raced at Parx -- then known as Philadelphia Park -- but that was before winning the Run for the Roses.
By running in the Pennsylvania Derby, Sherman and Chrome's owners are going to each receive a guaranteed $100,000 as part of a bonus tied to the race. The owner and trainer each are entitled to $50,000 for a horse that wins any of five races: Derby, Preakness, Belmont, Haskell or Travers. This is in addition to the $600,000 winner's purse for the race .
"Santa Anita said we know the $100,000 that you and the owners will get made your decision," Sherman told Philly.com. "I told them, 'It sure as hell helped.' "
Sherman added the Awesome Again at Santa Anita is the backup plan if something goes wrong.
"When you have a layup, you just kind of got to play it by ear, see how he's coming along, see which would be the right move," Sherman said via Philly.com.
Since the Belmont, Chrome has been resting and relaxing before gearing up for this race and the Breeders' Cup Classic.
"It’s not like you're starting over," Sherman continued. "Five weeks, you're not really losing a whole lot. Every time I see him train now, he looks stronger."