Bayern at Saratoga on August 22.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Bayern at Saratoga on August 22.
Order This Photo

Anne M. Eberhardt

Bayern Gallops 1 1/2 Miles On Eve of Travers

California shipper is favored among 10 sophomores for 1 1/4-mile test at Saratoga.

On his second morning at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 22, California shipper Bayern  galloped 1 1/2 miles over the main track after the renovation break in preparation for the $1.25 million Travers Stakes (gr. I).

Kaleem Shah's Bayern is favored on the morning line at 2-1 in a field of 10 3-year-olds for the 145th renewal of the "Mid-Summer Derby" Aug. 23. Bayern jogged one mile on Thursday morning following his arrival from California late the preceding afternoon.

"We waited until after the break to get a decent track and he went over it very good; super good," said Jim Barnes, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who is remaining with his string at Del Mar.

"You just want to make sure that he's happy," said Barnes. "You don't want to lead a quiet horse over there. We're very familiar with shipping horses. We ship out a lot, and all the signs are looking good. He's a good horse."

Bayern will break from post 2 under jockey Martin Garcia in the 1 1/4-mile Travers, carded as the 12th of 14 races Saturday with a scheduled post time of 5:46 p.m. EDT. All 10 sophomores will carry 126 pounds.

In his most recent start, the Offlee Wild colt was a dominant 7 1/4-length winner of the 1 1/8-mile Haskell Invitational (gr. I) July 27 at Monmouth Park. He successfully stretch out to two turns in the Haskell following the seven-furlong Woody Stephens presented by RTN (gr. II), which he won by 7 1/2 lengths at Belmont Park.

"I think everybody knows what our plans are," Barnes said. "I think they're all (wondering), 'Can he get a mile and a quarter?' Looking at the form, I don't know who's going to go (with us) but you could compromise your own chances by going too fast early. As long as we have a sensible pace, you don't want to have to overcome anything."

Baffert is winless in three tries at the Travers since his 2001 victory with eventual Horse of the Year Point Given, who also was the last to complete the Haskell/Travers double. Among Baffert's Saratoga stakes victories are the King's Bishop, Alabama, Test, and Forego, all grade I races.