Baffert Drills Roman Ruler With Norfolk in Mind

Grade II winner Roman Ruler, who suffered his first career defeat in the Sept. 8 Del Mar Futurity (gr. II), was put through his first workout since then at Santa Anita Wednesday, completing seven furlongs in 1:25 4/5.

Under regular exercise rider Dana Barnes, clockers caught the bay son of Fusaichi Pegasus  going six furlongs in 1:13 1/5.

According to trainer Bob Baffert, the colt is to start next in the Oct. 3 Norfolk Stakes (gr. II) during Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting. It would be his first start around two turns.

"He just cruised around there," Baffert said. "I didn't want to work him while I was gone (to the Keeneland September Yearling Sale) and today was my first day back. He went pretty easy early and picked it up nicely."

Roman Ruler won his first two races, including the Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar, by a combined 11 lengths before finishing second by a neck to Declan's Moon in the Futurity. The $500,000 yearling purchase has now banked $165,800.

With a strong effort in the Norfolk, Baffert said, the Fog City Stable color bearer would most likely run in the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Lone Star Park.

"That's the plan," Baffert said. "I may put a little blinker on him next time (he works) because he was gawking around a little bit. I don't know yet."