California Chrome—hoping to keep his Triple Crown hopes alive with a win in Saturday’s Grade 1 $1.5 million Preakness Stakes—was being treated on Thursday for a minor throat ailment, but his connections say it will not affect his performance on Saturday.
A small throat blister was discovered after the Kentucky Derby winner coughed a couple of times, and he is being treated with a glycerin throat wash.
Trainer Art Sherman’s son and assistant, Alan, released a statement and said he is not at all concerned with the small hiccup just 48 hours before the second jewel in the Triple Crown.
“The horse is completely fine,” he said in the statement. “His blood work came back perfect. He coughed about four times today and we got him checked out right away. The blister isn’t going to affect him at all; the vet said there were absolutely no other problems, nothing else going on.”
California Chrome is the 3-5 morning line favorite for the Preakness and is currently listed at 5-8 in advanced wagering according to Odds Shark.
The colt comes into the Preakness riding a five-race winning streak, having won the Run for the Roses by 1 3/4 lengths over long shot Commanding Curve.
A victory on Saturday will send the colt to the Grade 1 $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on June 7, where he would attempt to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
His trainer seems more concerned with the competition and the weather than the throat blister. “I’ve always got concerns: the weather, hoping that he doesn’t get a cold,” Sherman told the Pimlico media department. “You’re always watching him, taking his temperature three times a day because of the change in weather.
Post time for the Preakness Stakes is 6:18 pm (ET) and will be broadcast live on NBC.