On his second morning in Saratoga, Bayern
galloped 1 ½ miles over the main track after the renovation break
Friday in preparation for Saturday's Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers.
Favored on the morning line at 2-1 in a field of 10 3-year-olds for the 145th
renewal of the Mid-Summer Derby, Bayern jogged one mile on Thursday
morning following his arrival from California late Wednesday afternoon.
"We waited until after
the break to get a decent track and he went over it very good; super
good," said Jim Barnes, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert,
who is remaining with his string at Del Mar.
"You just want to make
sure that he's happy," said Barnes. "You don't want to lead a quiet
horse over there. We're very familiar with shipping horses. We ship out a
lot, and all the signs are looking good. He's a good horse."
Bayern will break from post 2 under jockey Martin Garcia in the 1 ¼-mile Travers, carded as the 12th of 14 races on Saturday with a scheduled post time of 5:46 p.m. All horses will carry 126 pounds.
In his most recent
start, the Offlee Wild colt was a dominant 7 ¼-length winner of the
Grade 1 Haskell Invitational on July 27 at Monmouth Park, going 1 1/8
miles on the front end in his stretch-out from the Grade 2,
seven-furlong Woody Stephens presented by RTN, which he won by 7 ½
"I think everybody knows
what our plans are. I think they're all [wondering], 'Can he get a mile
and a quarter?'" said Barnes. "Looking at the form, I don't know who's
going to go [with us] but you could compromise your own chances by going
too fast early. As long as we have a sensible pace, you don't want to
have to overcome anything."
Baffert is winless in
three Travers since his 2001 victory with eventual Horse of the Year
Point Given, who also was the last Haskell winner to repeat in the
Mid-Summer Derby. Among Baffert's Saratoga stakes victories are the
King's Bishop, Alabama, Test and Forego, all Grade 1 races.