California Chrome coach Sherman to retire

When California Chrome started collecting adoring fans, he couldn’t have had a better trainer than Art Sherman, who announced he would be retiring from training at the end of the year. Not only did Sherman do a magnificent job training the Flashy Chestnut to win two-thirds of the Triple Crown and a host of other major races, he always had time to talk to fans of the horse.

The Chromies, as fans are called, have remained so involved, in fact, that Sherman owns a 2 year old son from California Chrome named Chasing Alchemy in a partnership that includes fans. The juvenile is twice not placed.

“About eight women own about 10% of it,” Sherman said. “They’re all Chromies, and they have a lot of fun. They meet up all the time. Every Saturday they’re at the barn. Chrome is such a popular horse. I always get all kinds of letters. He was the one. horse of the people. “

Upon retirement, 84-year-old Sherman will likely send the horses he currently trains to his two sons, Steve, who has a stable in Northern California, and Alan, who trains in Kentucky. This will give Art and Faye, his wife of nearly 62 years, time to travel, and Art has said he plans to do a little blood supply work as well. He added that he felt great, that he continued to be cancer free after battling bladder cancer some time ago.

“I have a lot of people I know all over the country,” he said. “I’ve never been to Ruidoso (Downs). I have a friend who owned a piece of Chrome, and he invites me every year. It’s on my to-do list: go for the All American Futurity. “

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Another site Art and Faye plan to visit is Yellowstone Park. They will also likely visit northern California and Kentucky to see their sons and horses. Their adult grandchildren live across the country, and Art said he and Faye now have two great-grandchildren to visit.

Sherman will always be associated with California Chrome, the son of Chair of luck Love the hunt , through Not for love , raised and owned by Perry Martin and Steve Coburn. As a Californian-bred colt from a mare who ended her racing career running for an $ 8,000 claim tag, California Chrome has risen from obscurity to become one of the world’s most successful racehorses. popular in recent times.

Steve Sherman had trained for Martin and Coburn in Northern California, and Art met them one day in the paddock. They told him about a 2 year old child they were going to send to the races.

“I said okay, I didn’t know it was California Chrome,” Art said. “And they were joking,” We have the next Kentucky Derby winner. “I said, ‘I hope you’re right because I would really love to have a Kentucky Derby winner.’ The minute the horse arrived, I liked the way it went. “

California Chrome has indeed become the next Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Winner of Brands (G1) in 2014. He added that year’s Preakness Stakes (G1), as well as other races such as the 2016 Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1) and 1 million TVG Pacific Classic Stakes (G1) dollars. California Chrome ultimately won $ 14,752,650.

Photo: Skip Dickstein

Jockey Victor Espinoza (left) stands with trainer Art Sherman as he holds the winner’s trophy in the air after winning the 2014 Kentucky Derby with California Chrome at Churchill Downs

Sherman has rubbed shoulders with many other fine horses besides California Chrome, first as a practice rider and jockey, then as a trainer. He rode for trainer Mesh Tenney in the 1950s and often exercised another popular California breed—Trades .

“I worked it out a few times,” Sherman said. “I beat him and he did a mile in 1:34 once. He came back and broke the track record in 1:33 and changed. He was a great horse.”

Sherman went to Churchill Downs when Swaps won the Kentucky Derby in 1955 and when he returned with California Chrome, Sherman became the oldest coach to ever win the race. The 77-year-old at the time, Sherman replaced Charlie Whittingham, who had saddled Sunday silence to win the 1989 Derby at 76.

Mermaid decoy became Sherman’s first freshman winner when he won the 2006 Triple Bend Invitational Handicap at Hollywood park. Sherman had claimed Siren Lure for $ 50,000 the previous year at near the bay for owners Stuart Kesselman and Tony and Marilyn Melkonian.

Sherman has trained other winners like the 2011 winner of the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1) Ultra-Mix , winner of the 2010 Hollywood Derby (G1T) Haimish Hy , winner 2007 Citation Handicap (G1T) Lang field , and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Handicap (G2) Del Mar Budweiser 1994 Lykatill Hill.

Until November 22, Sherman had coached 2,261 winners with his horses earning $ 45.3 million.

Cal-bred Ultra Blend was another business developed by Sherman.

“We bought it in a package for $ 16,000,” he said.

Running for Nels Erickson and trained by Steve and Art, Ultra Blend won $ 1,015,646 and sold to Katsumi Yoshida of Japan for $ 700,000 in the November 2011 sale to Fasig-Tipton.

Born in New York City, Sherman moved with his family to Southern California at the age of 7 and then attended Whittier High School. He remembers winning a race in Maryland as a jockey, with the trophy presented by then-vice president Richard Nixon, who also attended Whittier High School. Sherman was able to recall school with Nixon after the race.

“He loved horse racing,” Sherman said. “Anyone who loved horse racing was a friend of mine. It was pretty cool. “

As a trainer, Sherman’s clients have included Dr Ed Allred, who owns Los Alamitos Racecourse. The next Thoroughbred meet at this track will be Dec 3-12, and a celebration of Sherman’s career is scheduled during that reunion, possibly Dec 10.

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