California Chrome's health at issue

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Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome was heard coughing after a 1½-mile gallop at Pimlico early Thursday, and trainer Art Sherman told ESPN's Jeannine Edwards that his biggest concern is that the horse will catch a cold.

The forecast calls for rain in Baltimore through Friday morning. Sherman said he plans to train California Chrome on Friday for Saturday's Preakness, as long as the horse is healthy.  

Later on Thursday, assistant trainer Alan Sherman said California Chrome has a small blister in his throat, according to the website Blood-Horse, but blood work and a scope revealed the blister to be a minor issue. According to the report, the colt had the blister before the Derby and it went away, only to resurface recently.

"The horse is completely fine," Sherman said Thursday. "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 was made the odds-on favorite at 3-5 on Wednesday for the second leg of horse racing's Triple Crown, and he drew an inside post position in the 10-horse field that includes a filly for the first time in five years.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, California Chrome will break from the No. 3 post, which has produced 10 winners in the previous 138 runnings of the 1 3/16-mile race, the last being Prairie Bayou in 1993.

California Chrome is being treated with a glycerin throat wash to coat the irritated area, according to Blood-Horse.

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