Probable Travers favorite Roman Ruler, works at Saratoga on Monday.

Probable Travers favorite Roman Ruler, works at Saratoga on Monday.

Barbara D. Livingston

Probable Travers Fav Roman Ruler Works

Bob Baffert switched signals again Monday morning, working probable Travers Stakes (gr. I) favorite Roman Ruler under sunny skies at Saratoga. Instead of sending the son of Fusaichi Pegasus  out on Tuesday as he previously intended, Baffert had Roman Ruler work under exercise rider Dana Barnes shortly after the renovation break at 8:45 a.m.

According to trainer John Terranova, who supervised the work in Baffert's absence, Roman Ruler worked five furlongs under no urging from Barnes, getting the distance in :59 1/5. The time was second-best among 60 horses working that distance.

Terranova, seated in a clubhouse box next to Roman Ruler's jockey, Jerry Bailey, had Baffert on the telephone from California and relayed instructions to Barnes as she went through the work. She clicked off fractions of :12, :23 2/5, and :35 1/5 for the first three furlongs. When Baffert said to have Barnes take it easy down the stretch, Roman Ruler switched leads on cue, striding out to the wire and galloping out strongly. Terranova clocked him in 1:12 1/5 for six furlongs and 1:25 4/5 for seven furlongs while pulling up a mile in 1:42 flat.

"He looked awesome to me," said Bailey. "Dana never asked him. I'm glad I wasn't on him; he might have gone in :57."