War Emblem, continues preparations for the Haskell Invitational.

War Emblem, continues preparations for the Haskell Invitational.

Barbara D. Livingston

Baffert 'Tries to Tighten Screws' on War Emblem

Trainer Bob Baffert said he is "trying to tighten the screws" on Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem, who worked seven furlongs in a quick 1:23 3/5 Wednesday morning at Santa Anita Park in preparation for the Aug. 4 Haskell Invitational Handicap at Monmouth Park.

Baffert, in Lexington, Ky. for the summer yearling sales, said assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes told him, "He looked awesome out there."

Baffert said War Emblem galloped out 1 mile in 1:36 2/5 as Barnes' wife, Dana, was aboard for the work.

"People had better get their picnic baskets ready at Monmouth Park," Baffert said.

One of War Emblem's chief rivals for the Haskell, Belmont Stakes winner Sarava, was taken out of consideration for the race Tuesday by trainer Ken McPeek due to an injury that could sideline him for the rest of the year.