California Chrome healthy and primed for Preakness


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Baltimore, MD ( - Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome is doing well and is set for Saturday's Preakness Stakes at Pimlico.

The colt came down with a cough Thursday after training and was discovered to have a minor throat irritation. He was examined by a veterinarian who found a small blister in his throat. The 3-year-old is being treated with a glycerin throat wash.

"California Chrome is fine. His throat is fine. He had a little tickle. He is not scratching from the Preakness. He is fine. I don't know why it was blown out of proportion," said Alan Sherman, assistant to his father Art.

Friday morning, California Chrome galloped two miles in the rain with exercise rider Willie Delgado.

"I thought he looked good," Art Sherman said. "It's been fun and we're trying to be relaxed into this race. When you run a 3-5 shot, you've got a lot more pressure on you knowing you're going to be the favorite, but I think we can handle it."

The chestnut colt, owned by Steven Coburn and Perry Martin, is the 3-5 morning line favorite for the middle jewel of racing's Triple Crown. He drew post 3 in the 10-horse field and again will have Victor Espinoza in the saddle.

"You've got to see how the race is going to play out," Sherman said. "I wish I had a future book to look at and see how this is going to be, but I've been around for a long time and I just go one race at a time. I can't give instructions to Victor; he's been around there. Anyone that gives instructions to these kind of jocks are kidding themselves. That's why they are earning the big bucks and they are very talented riders."

Pablo Del Monte was the only Preakness contender not to gallop on the track in the heavy rain Friday morning.

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