LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On his second morning at Churchill Downs, likely Kentucky Derby favorite California Chrome jogged an easy two miles as his team awaited the late afternoon draw that will determine his starting position in the 20-horse field.
"We had a good morning," said Art Sherman, California Chrome's trainer. "He seemed to be really going good."
Onlookers were taken with the chestnut colt's serenity. Several times, he stood still and gazed at the scene around him, even as dozens of cameras clicked away.
"He seemed to be looking around a lot," Sherman said. "There was a lot of new action out there. He was pretty relaxed. He's a very inquisitive horse anyway, so he kind of took it easy on himself."
Entries for the Derby closed at 10 a.m. Wednesday, with 21 horses entered for 20 spots. Pablo Del Monte is the horse currently on the outside looking in, but he could make the field if another entry scratches before 9 a.m. Friday.
The draw, scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday, is always eagerly awaited. A bad spot in such a crowded field can spell disaster for even the most talented horse.
California Chrome's co-owner, Steve Coburn, said he'd be happiest starting anywhere from the No. 6 post to No. 10.