War Emblem Posts Another Sharp Drill

Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem had his final major drill for next Saturday's $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Arlington Park, working publicly at Santa Anita just after noon on Saturday.

The son of Our Emblem went seven furlongs on a fast track under exercise rider Dana Barnes in 1:24.58, with fractions of :25.24, :49.88 and 1:12.91. War Emblem, who will ship to Arlington on Tuesday, galloped out a mile in 1:37 1/5, receiving applause from the fans as he reached the finish line.

"He wanted to do a lot today," trainer Bob Baffert said. "He always wants to get it all in the second eighth, but she (Barnes) kept him under a good hold. He's doing well. It's not whether he's coming up to this race better than any other he's prepared for. He's a good horse and he's doing great, so if they're doing that, that means they're going to run well. I can't really say he's doing better than he ever has. I can say that he's doing great. I can't remember how he was doing before the Derby," Baffert said, with a chuckle. "That was long ago."

Baffert had three other Breeders' Cup contenders work Saturday morning. Atlantic Ocean (Juvenile Fillies) went seven furlongs in a bullet 1:23, while Bull Market and Kafwain (Juvenile) went the same distance in company in the identical time of 1:25.60.

"They were good," Baffert said of the 2-year-old drills, "but they worked on two different (types of) tracks, though. One was sluggish, the other, they tightened it up, so the filly worked really fast."

Barnes was aboard Atlantic Ocean and Bull Market, while jockey Victor Espinoza rode Norfolk Stakes winner Kafwain.