Texas Chrome Aiming for 2017 Debut in Oaklawn Handicap

Texas Chrome wins the Super Derby (Photo by Hodges Photography)

Multiple graded stakes winner Texas Chrome should arrive at Oaklawn in early February to begin preparing for his 4-year-old campaign, trainer J.R. Caldwell said Tuesday morning, adding he’s targeting the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 15 for the Texas-bred’s comeback spot.

“Don’t think we’ll get anything in before that,” Caldwell said. “We’ll just go there and use that as a prep for his summer run.”

Caldwell said Texas Chrome was freshened following a ninth-place finish in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) Nov. 4 at Santa Anita.

Texas Chrome is at owner Danny Keene’s Friendswood Farm in Hot Springs, Caldwell said, following a 2016 season highlighted by victories in the $400,000 Super Derby (G3) Sept. 10 at Louisiana Downs and $400,000 Oklahoma Derby (G3) Sept. 25 at Remington Park.

“He had a hard little campaign,” Caldwell said. “We gave him some time off to grow up a little bit and get ready for his 4-year-old campaign.”

Texas Chrome’s eight-race 2016 schedule began with a third-place finish in last April in Oaklawn’s $150,000 Bachelor Stakes. In addition to the Super Derby and Oklahoma Derby, he won the $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes May 15 at Lone Star Park and the $100,000 Super Derby Prelude Stakes Aug. 6 at Louisiana Downs.

“Fantastic year,” Caldwell said.

Keene purchased Texas Chrome, a Texas-bred son of Grasshopper, for $10,000 at the Texas Summer Yearling Sale. The colt bred by Craig Upham has bankrolled $842,807 off eight victories from 14 lifetime starts.

From Oaklawn news release