A year ago, he was the most recognized name in horse racing.
Fresh off a 3-year-old campaign that brought him two lengths shy of a Triple Crown and a neck within a Breeders' Cup Classic win, California Chrome was soon to embark on a globe-trotting tour designed to enhance his legacy and his owners' retirement accounts.
His season expired after two races, short-circuited by a bruised foot. Then the phenomenon of American Pharoah blotted out the sun that shines on other thoroughbreds, and Pharoah's slight elder became the answer to, "Who was the 2014 horse of the year again?"
California Chrome emerged from dormancy as a 5-year-old to renew acquaintances with an...