California Chrome, the 2014 Horse of the Year and dual classic winner, will likely sit out the rest of the year and may not race again because of a cannon bone bruise, trainer Art Sherman said July 12.
The injury, which was discovered during an examination for the purposes of evaluating the 4-year-old colt for an undisclosed possible stud deal, will require at least three months of rest. Sherman also said the injury has opened the door for a possible 5-year-old racing season for the son of Lucky Pulpit .
"He's probably out for the rest of the year," Sherman said. "It's three months, but that's almost the rest of the year, and if you're going to race him again, you have to get him back into training. If they decide to run him next year, he'll be fine. [The owners] haven't made up their mind, but I'll know in the next couple days."
Sherman said the rest of the examination came out "perfect" for the colt owned by Perry Martin and Steve Coburn.
"Everything else is healthy and vetted out," Sherman said. "Everything is perfect except that. It's something else. I'm just letting it soak in a little bit. The horse will be fine. These things heal up. He's going sound, but it's there and we know it's there."
The colt has most recently been stabled at Arlington International Racecourse, where his owners were hoping to run him in the Arlington Million Aug. 15.
"Owner Perry Martin reports California Chrome won't run in the Arlington Million due to cannon bone inflammation found by x-ray yesterday," Denise Martin, owner Perry Martin's wife, said on Twitter.
After sending California Chrome to Dubai for a second-place finish in the Dubai World Cup and then to England, where he was supposed to make a start at Royal Ascot but was derailed by a foot bruise, the veteran conditioner couldn't help but wonder what could have been.
"It just seems, once he was away -- they did a good job with the guys taking care of him -- but boy, I wish he would have been home," Sherman said. "It's so hard. You get to thinking about it, whether it would have happened with me -- I don't know."
If California Chrome does not race again, he will fall just short of becoming the highest-earning California-bred Thoroughbred. Tiznow currently tops that list with $6,427,830 in earnings. California Chrome has $6,322,650 in earnings.