The colt is sidelined with a bone bruise for at least three months.
Poor California Chrome can’t seem to catch a break: his foray onto British soil ended with an abscess and subsequent scratch from the Royal Ascot meet after months of rest and then preparation and new training, and upon his return to the United States it was discovered that he has a bruised cannon bone. While this kind of injury isn’t typically career-ending, it will take at least 90 days to heal; the injury comes at a bad time for Chrome, who was prepping for a mid-August American return in the Arlington Million and hopes for the Breeders Cup before retirement to stud.
The internet ran wild with speculation upon the original announcement of Chrome’s injury on Sunday: most popular opinions seemed to believe that Chrome would likely be retired to stud without ever racing again. However, the Courier-Journal via the Daily Racing Form reported today that the horse could possibly make a race appearance in 2016 as a five-year-old.
Taylor Made Stallions has purchased the minority share in California Chrome, the share previously owned by the Coburns; it’s now apparent that the horse will eventually retire to stud there whether this year or next. However, Taylor Made Stallions declined to comment one way or another, stating instead that a statement will be made at the appropriate time — suggesting that no decision has been made final. Regardless, Chrome is headed to Taylor Made to recuperate from his bone bruise while his future is settled.
It’s easy to look at this horse’s disappointing four-year-old year and think that maybe he’s gotten kind of a raw deal — shipped from one end of the world to the next, training and retraining, bouncing back from injuries only to suffer another. Critics are quick to point out that the colt dropped a lot of weight in England. However, I think this Facebook post sums up Chrome’s overall experience pretty nicely:
Wise words. With time to heal, anything is possible for California Chrome, and we’ll be there for him every step of the way, cheering him on. Once a Chromie, always a Chromie.