California Chrome connections say colt is ‘fine’ amid reports of illness

The horse who has yet to hit a bump in the road had minor issue come to light Thursday as the connections of California Chrome said the Kentucky Derby winner has a small blister in his throat but is reported to be “fine” in advance of his expected run in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes.

California Chrome reportedly coughed “about four times” Thursday after galloping according to Alexis Garske, spokesperson for Sherman Racing. Trainer Art Sherman and his son and assistant, Alan, had a veterinarian come scope California Chrome and draw blood and said that blood work came back “100 percent clear” with no infection present. The small blister was cited as the reason for the slight coughing but it is not expected to impact his race in any way and has not impacted his training.

“The horse is fine, it’s not like he’s coughing a lot and that is because it itches him,” Garske said. “The thing with Chrome is he actually coughs every morning a couple of times. The only reason (for the vet check) was because (the coughs) were closer together so they figured lets get the vet over here just to be sure especially with the temperature (weather) change. But he actually coughs quite often.”

California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby by 1 3/4-lengths while geared down in the final 70 yards and is the 3-to-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes against nine other rivals.