Eight Rings, winner of the American Pharoah Stakes (G1) last fall at Santa Anita Park, arrived at Oaklawn Park April 14 in preparation for a start in the six-furlong, $100,000 Bachelor Stakes there April 25, co-owner Jack Wolf said.
The 3-year-old son of Empire Maker is unraced since finishing sixth as the second favorite in the TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) Nov. 1 at Santa Anita. He remained steadily breezing for a month following that race before trainer Bob Baffert backed off on his training to freshen him for a 2020 campaign.
Wolf, founder of Starlight Racing, owns Eight Rings in partnership with SF Racing, Madaket Stables, Frederick Hertrich III, John Fielding, Golconda Stables, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith. Magnier, Tabor, and Smith—principals in Coolmore Stud—acquired their interest in the colt after the American Pharaoh.
Wolf said options are limited for Eight Rings this spring, owing to meet suspensions or cancellations from COVID-19.
Oaklawn Park is one of a handful of tracks still racing without spectators. Aside from the Bachelor, the only other stakes race for Eight Rings on its schedule before its meet closure May 2 is the $750,000 Arkansas Derby (G1), in which a stacked field looms. Wolf and many other partners in Eight Rings are hopeful to be represented in that 1 1/8-mile race by the unbeaten Charlatan.
Another Baffert trainee, Nadal, who races for different ownership, is also expected for the Arkansas Derby.
Eight Rings has been breezing for the last two months, capped by a seven-furlong workout in 1:27 4/5 at Santa Anita April 4, which followed a six-furlong drill in 1:11 March 22. He has not sprinted since last summer when he won a maiden race at Del Mar and lost his rider early in the Runhappy Del Mar Futurity (G1) after ducking toward the inside fence down the backstretch chute.