BALTIMORE — Art Sherman thought nothing could be better than winning the Kentucky Derby.
Then came the Preakness, when California Chrome proved just how good a horse he can be when pressed for the lead.
And now, Sherman needs only a victory at the Belmont on June 7 to achieve every trainer’s dream: winning the Triple Crown.
“It would be the ultimate in my career,” the 77-year-old said Saturday evening.
“I’ve been in the game 60 years,” Sherman said. “Triple Crown winner? If you would have said that to me at the beginning of the year, I would have said, ‘What, are you crazy?’ And now that I’m getting closer, I’m elated.”
Sherman operated in relative obscurity before the Derby. Now the diminutive trainer stands out in a crowd.
“I’m kind of getting used to it,” he said. “After I won the Kentucky Derby, I said, ‘Wow, all of a sudden I feel like Willie Nelson,’ the old rock star coming through the airport.”
Still, it’s been a whirlwind.
“Sometimes I need to take my little siesta for about an hour,” he said. “I just call it charging my battery a little bit.”
Second to one: Unsatisfied with the rides of some of Ride On Curlin’s former jockeys, trainer Billy Gowan said he simply wanted his colt to get a fighting chance in the Preakness.
Jockey Jose Rosario gave him just that, recovering from a slow start to make his move down the stretch before finishing second, 1 1/2 lengths behind California Chrome.
“I thought it was awesome,” Gowan said. “California Chrome ran a great race and he’s a great horse. My horse ran a great race. He was in a good spot down the back. Joel said he got shut off for a second, but he came running in the stretch and gave me a heck of a thrill.”