At the age of 5, California Chrome is showing no signs of slowing down after dominating horse racing and winning $10 million at the Dubai World Cup 2016 this weekend. According to the Courier Journal, California Chrome rested on Sunday at Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse after a dramatic win that has left horse racing fans worldwide eager to see what will be next for the former Kentucky Derby winner.
Known as the world’s richest horse racing event, the Dubai World Cup gave California Chrome a chance to show racing fans what a true champion looks like with a brilliant victory. According to ESPN staff writer Mike Watchmaker, the horse’s performance in the 2016 Dubai World Cup was the best performance of his career so far.
— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) March 26, 2016
— Dubai World Cup (@DWC_Meydan) March 26, 2016
“It was stunning how California Chrome left his field for dead in the upper stretch with a devastating burst of late foot… These were horses good enough to contest a $10 million race, and California Chrome was just on an entirely higher level than them.”
Having already won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and a Horse of the Year title, talk is already turning to the titan’s next move.
“Connections to California Chrome have been contacted by the Stronach Group about [the Pegasus Championship] its proposed $12 million horse race to rotate annually between Santa Anita and Gulfstream Parks.”
All right–let's say that the $12 million #PegasusChampionship is held in Jan 2017 at 10 furlongs on dirt. Who would you like to see run?
— J. Keeler Johnson (@J_Keelerman) January 12, 2016
Poll: What are your thoughts on the Stronach Group's proposed $12 million #PegasusChampionship?
— The Turf Board (@TheTurfBoard) January 12, 2016
Tentatively scheduled to run in January of 2017, the Pegasus Championship is used by the racing world as a filler for the annual gap between the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic and the World Cup. As for whether or not California Chrome will run in the Pegasus race next January, majority owner Perry Martin – who also owns Kentucky’s Taylor Made Stallions – told the Courier Journal it will depend on what the experts have to say about the horse’s health after a thorough checkup.
“We’re interested. When we know more, I can tell you. All I know is, they’re working on it.”
First things first, Martin said California Chrome is scheduled to fly home from Dubai to the United States, where the son of Lucky Pulpit – who is 3-for-3 so far in 2016 after his World Cup win – will pass through quarantine in Chicago and receive a checkup at Rood & Riddle.
“Depending on what they tell us, we’ll know how long his layoff’s going to be. Then we’ll get him back to the races as soon as we can.”
In addition to the proposed Pegasus Championship next January, Martin said they are eyeing summer and fall races to serve as qualifiers for the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park. In the world of horse racing, those could include the Churchill Downs’ Stephen Foster, Saratoga’s Whitney, and the Pacific Classic at Del Mar. According to Watchmaker, regardless of what the next step will be in California Chrome’s racing career, his win at the World Cup in Dubai commands attention.
“By virtue of what he did Saturday, California Chrome demanded we all look at him now in a different way.”
According to ESPN, California Chrome won the Dubai World Cup at one-and-one-fourth miles on dirt by three-and-three-fourths lengths. During the race, his saddle slipped, but veteran jockey Victor Espinoza held it together. The win brought in $6 million for Martin and Taylor Made Farms.
[Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images]