Officer crosses the finish line first in the Zany Tactics Stakes.

Officer crosses the finish line first in the Zany Tactics Stakes.

Zany Tactics Winner Officer Might Try Lexington Stakes

Following Officer's six-length romp in the restricted Zany Tactics Stakes at Santa Anita Sunday, trainer Bob Baffert is considering the 1 1/16-mile Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland for the colt's next start.

"If we try to stretch him out, maybe the Lexington Stakes, and if he did well there, the Preakness (gr. I) maybe."

The conditioner, though, is keeping his options open for the son of Bertrando.

"We have him nominated everywhere," he said.

Officer was promising as a juvenile. The Thoroughbred Corp.'s colt reeled off five straight wins, including the grade I Champagne Stakes, to begin his career before suffering three straight losses which forced Baffert to ponder whether Officer was a sprinter.

Baffert was pleased with his performance in the 6 1/2-furlong Zany Tactics.

"He sat behind those horses, and Victor (Espinoza) had a hold of him," Baffert said. "But you can't take too much of a hold or else he'll displace on you. Victor said he was really full of himself today. But when he makes that move around the turn, he runs on a different level."

Officer stopped the timer after running the distance in 1:15.71 on a fast track. Hot War finished second, three lengths ahead of Duddly Doo Run. Officer earned the $64,080 winner's share of the $106,800 purse and paid $2.60 for the win as the 3-10 favorite. The $1 exacta paid $5.20. The win marked Officer's sixth in nine career starts.

Baffert didn't want to dwell on Officer's future, though, saying, "Right now, I just want to savor the moment, and see how he comes out of it." (Chart, Equibase)