From Swaps to California Chrome old school horsemanship defines trainer Art Sherman
“You gotta be lucky!” Those are the words of trainer Art Sherman, the epitome of old school horsemanship.
And Art has been lucky, enjoying some of the most exciting years of his training career since turning 77. That’s when he saddled California Chrome to win the 2014 Kentucky Derby.
And Sherman, known for his contagious laugh, was chosen to train the handsome chestnut colt because of his old school horsemanship!
In today’s podcast Art recalls his start as a stable hand in California, exercising 1955 Kentucky Derby winner Swaps for Mesh Tenney and Rex Ellsworth. Initially, Sherman recalls traveling cross-country by train with the stable’s horses, sleeping between them on a bed of straw.
Next, Art recounts his years as a jockey, riding at race tracks around the country. And even learning as an apprentice from the great Bill Shoemaker. Shoemaker brought old school horsemanship to the saddle and was one of the most celebrated jockeys of all time.
Sherman marvels at the contrast between train-travel as a stable hand in the 50’s to flying First Class to Dubai with his wife Faye. The couple enjoyed the luxuries of a private cabin on Emirates Airlines before Art saddled California Chrome to win the 2016 Dubai World Cup.
Finally, Sherman compares training and riding in the old days to the state of the industry now. The old school horsemanship of trainers like Art Sherman seems under-appreciated these days. And at the age of 83 Sherman is pondering retirement, which would make his wife Faye very happy.
Fortunately for Art, his involvement with horse racing will continue through his sons Steve and Alan, and a few rambunctious grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And of course, a handful of talented youngsters by California Chrome.