Elmont, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Clouds or no clouds, it doesn't make a difference to Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome.
The 3-year-old colt completed his two-mile gallop Wednesday morning at Belmont Park after exhibiting his normal energy in spite of the lack of sunshine.
"Yesterday he pulled, and today he pulled farther," said Willie Delgado, California Chrome's exercise rider. "And then he pulled up and he wasn't even blowing out a match. Fitness wise, he's fit. Come the day of the race, like I always said, it's all up to him and God. I can't say enough. He's really, really improving. Like I've always said, after each race he got better. He's out on weight, he's gotten stronger."
Owned by Steven Coburn and Perry Martin, California Chrome is likely to face nine challengers in the Belmont Stakes with the possibility of 10. Expected to take on the Triple Crown contender are Derby runner-up Commanding Curve, Commissioner, Matterhorn, Matuszak, Medal Count, Ride On Curlin, Samraat, Tonalist and Wicked Strong. Kid Cruz is listed as possible by Belmont Park stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes.
"It's going to be a tough race; they're all good horses. All we have to do is just do our thing and have him run his race and I think we'll be all right," said Alan Sherman, son of California Chrome's trainer, Art Sherman.
The chestnut colt is scheduled to have an official workout over Belmont Park's main track Saturday. Alan Sherman said the time of the work depends on the arrival from California by jockey Victor Espinoza.