Roman Ruler Gets Much-Needed Mile Drill

Grade II winner Roman Ruler, getting ready for a start March 19 in either the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita or the Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, worked a mile from the gate at Santa Anita Wednesday in 1:38 3/5.

With jockey Gary Stevens aloft, the son of Fusaichi Pegasus  worked in company with last year's San Felipe winner Preachinatthebar.

"It was a Seabiscuit move," Baffert said.

Preachinatthebar received the same time under jockey Julio Garcia.

Roman Ruler worked just after training hours ended with special permission from the track.

"If you're nice to people, people will do nice things for you," Baffert said of the unusual circumstances, which required an extra harrowing by track maintenance, a starting gate and a small gate crew.

Roman Ruler and Preachinatthebar stayed on virtually equal terms around the track during the drill, crossing the wire simultaneously. Baffert said he didn't get the splits because of a stop watch malfunction.

"I don't know where he's going to run next," Baffert said. "I just had to get this work into him and we'll just have to go from there."

Roman Ruler, who hasn't raced since a fifth-place finish in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), won last year's Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) and Norfolk Stakes (gr II), and also finished second by a neck to Eclipse Award winner Declan's Moon in the Del Mar Futurity (gr. II). The $500,000 Keeneland September yearling, owned by Fog City Stable, has banked $330,800 with a record of 5-3-1-0.

He has been hampered by a quarter crack and unprecedented rain, which has curtailed and altered training regimens in Southern California.