Roman Ruler could be headed to the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) Oct. 29 at Belmont Park, according to trainer Bob Baffert.The Haskell Invitational (gr. I) winner was under consideration for the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), but could face undefeated Lost in the Fog in the Sprint instead.
"After watching him today, I might be leaning towards the Sprint," Baffert said after Roman Ruler worked four furlongs under Dana Barnes in :47 seconds at Santa Anita. "He went very nice. This is the best he's gone in a long time. The way he worked today, the Breeders' Cup Sprint would probably be highly likely for him if he continues the way he's going. He's a quick horse. He's fast."
Roman Ruler, a 3-year-old son of Fusaichi Pegasus owned by the Fog City Stable, has not sprinted since he was a 2-year-old. He broke his maiden at five furlongs, followed by a win in the 6 ½-furlong Best Pal (gr. II) and a second by a neck to champion Declan's Moon in the seven-furlong Del Mar Futurity (gr. II). Roman Ruler was second to Rock Hard Ten in the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at 1 1/8 miles Oct. 1.
Meanwhile, on a morning at Santa Anita that would have made the chamber of commerce proud, Classic contender Rock Hard Ten worked six furlongs in company with Rhythm Mad in 1:12 4/5. His stablemate was clocked in 1:15.
"It was a great work," Richard Mandella said of the son of Kris S. who is unbeaten in four races since the Hall of Fame trainer took over as the colt's conditioner late in 2004. "Everything's going great. He'll get a little longer one (workout) next week. We'll ship the 23rd, the way it looks now."