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May 23, 2014

No playing possum for California Chrome at Belmont Park


Elmont, NY ( - Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome completed his 1 3/4-mile gallop Friday morning at Belmont Park when an opossum crossed the track.

The 3-year-old chestnut colt, with exercise rider Willie Delgado in the saddle, offered no indication that the animal even registered as he continued training for the 1 1/2-mile "Test of the Champion" on Saturday, June 7.

"We have coyotes on the track at Los Alamitos, (so) it was no big deal," said Alan Sherman, assistant to his father, Art Sherman. "The track was a little heavier than it was yesterday, but he seemed to handle it fine."

Owned by Steven Coburn and Perry Martin, California Chrome is likely to face nine challengers in the Belmont Stakes. Expected to take on the Triple Crown contender are Derby runner-up Commanding Curve, the fourth-place horse Wicked Strong, Samraat, Commissioner, Intense Holiday, Tonalist, Kid Cruz, Preakness runner-up Ride On Curlin and Matuszak.

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