Accomplishing what trainer Bob Baffert called "a nice, easy half-mile," Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner War Emblem buzzed the distance in 48.80 Wednesday under a tight hold by work rider Dana Barnes. Del Mar clockers caught the big, nearly black colt galloping out 5 furlongs in 1:00 4/5.
Following the work, a carefully confident Baffert said, "It was just what the doctor ordered. If we're going to run, we're leaning toward running here (in the $1-million Pacific Classic on August 25). What's important now is we keep him sound and healthy. He looked good this morning."
It was War Emblem's first work since returning August 6 from his easy victory in the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.