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'Chrome' unfazed by opossum

NEW YORK -- California Chrome was unfazed by a chance encounter Friday with an opossum that crossed the track at Belmont Park as the Triple Crown hopeful was ending his gallop.

The chestnut colt didn't flinch when he passed the cat-sized opossum as he completed his 1¾-mile run.

Assistant trainer Alan Sherman says coyotes have appeared at California Chrome's home track in Los Alamitos, California, so an opossum isn't a big deal.

Sherman said that California Chrome will visit the Belmont paddock and starting gate once or twice next week as part of his preparations for the June 7 Belmont Stakes. He has a chance to become the first horse to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont in 36 years. He's the 13th horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win the Triple Crown's first two legs.