Futurity Bound Roman Ruler Impresses in Drill

(from Del Mar track notes)
Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) favorite Roman Ruler sped a half-mile in 47 seconds flat Saturday morning to show his readiness for Wednesday's 57th running of the $250,000 closing-day feature at seven furlongs on the main track.

"Isn't he beautiful," a relaxed, cheery Bob Baffert asked following the sharp workout. Roman Ruler started two lengths behind a workmate and finished two lengths to the good at the wire.

"It was a really good, easy work," said Baffert, who has won seven of the last eight Futurities.

The 2-year-old undefeated son of Fusaichi Pegasus  was clocked in :24 3/5 for the first quarter, 36 seconds at the three-furlong mark and 11 seconds for the final eighth of a mile, in which he went past his work mate with ease. He galloped out five furlongs in :59 3/5.

Regular exercise and workout rider Dana Barnes was aboard for the work. Corey Nakatani has the call for the Futurity, his third time to ride the colt.

Joining Baffert in watching the workout were owners William Bianco and David Shimmon, who race as Fog City Stable. They paid $500,000 for the colt at the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale. Roman Ruler broke his maiden at first asking at Hollywood Park in June and came back to win Del Mar's Best Pal Stakes (gr. IIT) Aug. 15.

Set to tackle Roman Ruler is another undefeated colt, Chandtrue, who is a three-time stakes winner trained by Bob Hess, Jr.

Chandtrue has not run at Del Mar yet, having broken his maiden at Hollywood Park. He followed up with wins in the Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes, the Haggin Stakes and the Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. III).

Chandtrue worked five furlongs Friday in :59 4/5 with Gary Stevens up. Stevens will ride in the Futurity.