With white hooves on all four feet, Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome always has needed a little extra attention to hoof care, and his trainer, Art Sherman, said blacksmith Judd Fisher came up with a unique solution. California Chrome races in glue-on shoes, but the shoes are not glued on, they are affixed with nails.

The shoe, not the glue, is the reason, Sherman said. The shoes that California Chrome wears “help so he doesn’t go back on his heels,” Sherman said.

“All horses with four white feet are prone to needing more care because of the lack of pigmentation. The hoofs can be shellier,” Sherman said this weekend at Los Alamitos, where he is overseeing his local stable before heading to Pimlico this week for the Preakness Stakes. “It takes more effort to keep them in shape.

 “We’re always working on his feet. Horses with white hooves, they have a tendency to have problems if you don’t keep up with them.”

Sherman said that California Chrome was having trouble with his heels last year at age 2. According to Sherman, Fisher liked the way the padding in the glue-on shoes he prefers raised the heels of California Chrome’s hooves. So Fisher buys glue-on shoes, and then drills holes in the shoes so they can be affixed with nails.

“We could see he needed a little help, nothing major,” Sherman said. “You have to trust your blacksmith. It was Judd’s idea. You’ve got to let the experts do it. If you have a gut feeling it might be the right situation, you have to go for it.”

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