Fog City Stable's Roman Ruler, winner of the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), breezed a half-mile in a bullet :45 4/5 at Saratoga Tuesday in preparation for the $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 27.
The second fastest half-mile work on the tab was :48 2/5. Trainer Bob Baffert said Roman Ruler galloped out five furlongs in :59 flat.
"He was supposed to work only three-eighths and gallop out another furlong," Baffert said from his barn at Del Mar. "But they said the track was fast this morning, and the rider had a hold of him the whole way. He just didn't know the horse. (Regular exercise rider) Dana Barnes will work him next week, and I'll be there with the radio. This is a very good horse who is just now peaking. He's doing awesome."
The son of Fusaichi Pegasus
returned from a 3 1/2-month layoff to defeat subsequent Jim Dandy (gr. II) winner Flower Alley in the Dwyer Stakes at Belmont before capturing the Haskell. Those two will hook up again in the Travers, where they'll likely face Don't Get Mad, Reverberate, Andromeda's Hero, Park Avenue Ball, and Chkehov. Bellamy Road, who has been pointing for the seven-furlong King's Bishop (gr. I), is considered an outside possibility.
Also at Saratoga this morning, the undefeated Henny Hughes, favorite for the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I), worked five furlongs in a bullet :59 for Patrick Biancone.