California Chrome was brilliant in a weighted handicap held at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. The win came at the Trans Gulf Electromechanical Trophy Handicap, which held a purse of $143,000 USD. The former Preakness Stakes winner dominated the 1 1/4 mile race to win by two-lengths in a time of 2:04.24.
All signs point forward as California Chrome readies for the Dubai World Cup on March 26th. He ran this event last year, but finished second. With two stakes victories under his belt so far this year, the Art Sherman trainee is well on his way to having a tremendous 2016 season. Chrome also won the San Pasqual stakes at Santa Anita in early January. The Dubai World Cup will be run on Meydan Racecourse as well.
California Chrome paid out $2.10 with the win. The seven-year old Storm Belt a massive $33.20 return for finishing second. Success Story paid out $26.20 for the show.
The early part of the race, as you can see in the video below, was a bit choppy for California Chrome. He was not only handicapped with an additional 132 pounds (+15 more than any of his competitors on Thursday), but he also found himself sliding behind traffic as he approached the stretch at Meydan. Jockey Victor Espinoza never panicked and California Chrome made short work of the field down the stretch. Nobody could touch him towards the wire.
This is the second victory by an American horse in Dubai. Frosted also won the Al Maktoun Challenge Round 2 earlier this month. A large contigent of American-bred racers will run at the March 26th event. Frosted, Keen Ice, Effinex, Mshawish and Candy Boy will all compete for the $10 million purse at the mega race. But nobody is holding as much momentum as California Chrome. His comfort and ease at the Meydan track shows promise that his showing at this year’s Dubai World Cup will be better than the last.