Jim McIngvale's During, who was narrowly beaten by Atswhatimtalknbout in his last start, won a one-mile allowance race Wednesday at Santa Anita, and will now head to the Wood Memorial.
The son of Cherokee Run battled head and head most of the way with Touch the Wire before going on to a three-quarters of a length victory under Gary Stevens in 1:36. Touch the Wire finished 3 1/2 lengths in front of the Bobby Frankel-trained Special Rate.
Baffert said During will follow the same path as Congaree, who won the Wood two year ago. "He's a very nice horse, but he's still very green," Baffert said.
In his last start, During stretched out from a maiden sprint to 1 1/16 miles and gave Atswhatimtalknbout quite a battle in the stretch, holding on stubbornly to be beaten three-quarters of a length in a fast 1:41 4/5.
Baffert said another of his 3-year-olds, Spensive, first in the Gold Rush Stakes, second in the San Rafael, and third in the Sham, likely will make his next start in either the Lane's End Stakes at Turfway Park March 22 or the new $500,000 WinStar Derby at Sunland Park on March 30.