Bayern and Social Inclusion, a pair of grade I-placed colts who will make their Triple Crown racing debuts in the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), wrapped up their serious exercise before the Maryland classic with workouts on Monday, May 12.
Social Inclusion, who in his most recent start finished third in the Twinspires.com Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) at Aqueduct Racetrack, breezed four furlongs in :47 at Pimlico Race Course. That move was the fastest of five works at the distance May 12 at Pimlico.
Rontos Racing Stable Corp.'s Social Inclusion won the first two starts of his career at Gulfstream Park before his third in the Wood Memorial. Since that April 5 start, the son of Pioneerof the Nile has twice worked at three furlongs and twice at four furlongs for trainer Manuel Azpurua, who will be saddling a horse in the Preakness for the first time.
"This morning when we came to the track I told the owner I wanted :46-and-change," said Azpurua, after Monday's move that he watched from the porch of the Pimlico press box with Ron Sanchez of Rontos Racing. "So, I'm happy. The jockey didn't move on him. It was just what I was looking for."
Jockey Luis Contreras, who has ridden Social Inclusion in all three of his career races, traveled from Woodbine to Pimlico for the work.
"He did it very easy. Manny told me to give him a good work with a good finish. He did it easy and so strong," Contreras said. "He's such a good horse. When you watch him, he looks like he's running on air."
Social Inclusion cut out fractions of :12 1/5, :23 2/5 and :35 3/5 on his way to the recorded official clocking, before galloping out five furlongs in :59 3/5 and six furlongs in 1:13 3/5.
Meanwhile, Racing Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will be looking for his sixth Preakness victory with Bayern, who finished first in the April 26 Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs but was placed second for causing interference in the stretch.
On May 12, Bayern breezed five furlongs in 1:02 3/5 at Churchill Downs. That move was the ninth-fastest of the first 17 reported at the distance.
Bayern and jockey Rosie Napravnik stepped onto the track shortly after 6 a.m. Starting about a length back on the outside of 5-year-old multiple graded stakes winner Drill with Jorge Alvarez up, Bayern produced fractions of :13 3/5, :26 2/5, :38 4/5 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:15 1/5.
Before the Derby Trial, Kaleem Shah's Bayern finished third in the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park after winning his first two career starts at Santa Anita Park. Since the Derby Trial, the son of Offlee Wild has breezed twice, as he also completed five furlongs in a bullet :58 1/5 May 5 at Churchill.
"I love that horse. He always relaxes for me and does what you ask," Napravnik said. "California Chrome is very impressive. But (Bayern) definitely will be a challenge for him."