Roman Ruler training up to BC Classic.

Roman Ruler training up to BC Classic.


Roman Ruler Leads Trio of Baffert Workers

Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) winner Roman Ruler, third in the Aug. 27 Travers Stakes (gr. I) in his last start, led Friday's Santa Anita workout brigade of Bob Baffert-trained runners looking toward the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.

The Fog City Stable-owned colt logged five furlongs in 1:01 1/5 under regular exercise rider Dana Barnes.

The move was the 17th-fastest of 26 who went the distance on the day. Though the Breeders' Cup Classic, Powered by Dodge (gr. I) on Oct. 29 is the long-term goal for the 3-year-old son of Fusaichi Pegasus , the colt's prep is still up in the air.

"I have no idea (where he'll run next)," Baffert said. "There aren't a lot of choices. We're looking at the Super Derby (gr. II), the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I), and the Indiana Derby (gr. II)."

All three races are to be contested on Oct. 1.

Roman Ruler has won five of nine career starts for earnings of $1,120,800. He won this year's Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) in addition to the Haskell.

Patti and Hal Earnhardt's undefeated Behaving Badly, impressive winner of the Rancho Bernardo Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar on Aug. 19 in her last start, also went five furlongs under Barnes, stopping the clock in :59 2/5.

The New York-bred daughter of Pioneering is being pointed toward a start in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I).

"I was originally thinking of a New York-bred stakes, but she worked so awesome this morning I'm thinking of running her in the Beldame," Baffert said.

The nine-furlong Beldame, to be run Oct. 1, carries a $750,000 purse.

Four-year-old Behaving Badly has started three times and has banked $153,000.

Mike Pegram's Woke Up Dreamin earned his bullet five-furlong time of :58 4/5 after breaking from the gate under Barnes. The TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) candidate may make his next start in either the $500,000 Vosburgh Stakes or the $100,000 Bay Meadows Speed Handicap, both on Oct. 1.

"He actually went six furlongs, and I got him in 1:12," Baffert said of the 5-year-old son of Holy Bull. "He worked awesome, unbelievable. He didn't like (training at) Del Mar at all. He's really happy to be back at Santa Anita."

Woke Up Dreamin has won two graded stakes in 2002, including the $500,000 Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. II) on July 10 at Calder Race Course.

Another notable work at Santa Anita Friday came from Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) hero Rock Hard Ten, who posted a mile in 1:37 1/5 for trainer Richard Mandella. The Mercedes Stables and Madeleine Paulson colorbearer is being pointed toward the Breeders' Cup Classic after making his first start in more than seven months in the $400,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) on Oct. 1.