Roman Ruler Works Toward Juvenile; No Breeders' Cup for Senor Swinger

Multiple grade II winner Roman Ruler, getting ready to make his next start in the Oct. 30 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), worked :35 2/5, breezing, at Santa Anita on Sunday under Dana Barnes. But according to trainer Bob Baffert the bay son of Fusaichi Pegasus   went much slower and easier in his first published move since winning the Oct. 3 Norfolk Stakes (gr. II).

"He actually went in :37 and one," Baffert said. "He went off nice and slow in the first part, was very relaxed and finished up well with his little blinkers on."

Baffert said he clocked the colt in splits of :13 for the first eighth of a mile and in :24 4/5 for a quarter.

According to Baffert, the Fog City Stable color-bearer will remain in California for his final pre-Breeders' Cup workouts and leave for Lone Star Park on Oct. 27. The veteran conditioner also believes Roman Ruler emerged from his first two-turn effort in the Norfolk in top shape and ready for Racing's Championship Day.

"We'll sweep in (to Texas) at the last minute," Baffert said. "He actually came out of (the Norfolk) very good. He's getting fitter. The race at Del Mar (a second-place finish to Declan's Moon in the Del Mar Futurity) was hard on him, but in the Norfolk I liked the fact that when he came to the frontrunner at the quarter pole and went by him, my horse was still pulling hard. It wasn't a gut-wrencher of a race, but I didn't want that going into the Breeders' Cup. He answered the two-turn question and he behaved well, which was most important. We've been working on his behavior more than anything."

Roman Ruler also won the Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar in addition to his maiden score and his career line stands at 4-3-1-0 for earnings of $285,800.

Baffert also said that Bob and Beverly Lewis' Belmont Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) winner Senor Swinger would skip the Breeders' Cup in favor of running in the $1.5 million Canadian International (Can-I) at Woodbine.

"If all's well, he's going up there," Baffert said. "The (Lone Star Park) turf course is a lot like Santa Anita's. He likes softer ground."

Senor Swinger, a 4-year-old son of El Prado who has banked $795,068 with a record of 21-8-0-3, also won the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) and Opening Verse Handicap earlier this year, as well as last year's Jefferson Cup Stakes (gr. IIIT) and Crown Royal American Turf Stakes (gr. IIIT) last year.

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