Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome was entered Wednesday morning for Saturday’s Grade I $300,000 Hollywood Derby and will face five rivals in the 1 1/8-mile run over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
California Chrome would become the seventh Kentucky Derby champion to race at Del Mar after winning the Run For The Roses. Gato Del Sol (1982 Kentucky Derby winner), Ferdinand (1986), Unbridled (1990), Silver Charm (1997), War Emblem (2002) and Giacomo (2005) all subsequently raced at Del Mar.
It will be the first race on turf for California Chrome, a son of Lucky Pulpit owned by Perry Martin and Steve Coburn.
Trainer Art Sherman nominated California Chrome for both the Native Diver Handicap, 1 1/8-miles on Polytrack, and the Hollywood Derby, two of three graded stakes on Saturday, the penultimate day of the Bing Crosby Season. California rules stipulate that only one race could be entered, and when the time came Wednesday morning, Sherman did not waiver from a previously stated preference for the Hollywood Derby.
“I want to run him on the grass,” Sherman said. “It will give me a lot of options when he runs next year as a 4-year-old. And he’s got a chance at Horse of the Year (for 2014).”
California Chrome worked a half-mile on the turf course on Sunday. An open gallop through the stretch on the grass is planned for Thursday morning.
The Hollywood Derby field, in alphabetical order, is: Cabral (Kent Desormeaux), California Chrome (Victor Espinoza), Flamboyant (Mike Smith), Lexie Lou (Corey Nakatani), Sawyer’s Hill (Rafael Bejarano) and Talco (Drayden Van Dyke).
Post positions for the race were to be drawn at the close of entries later Wednesday.