Coil Works For Travers

Coil works for Travers

Haskell Invitational (G1) winner COIL (Point Given) tuned up for a likely Travers S. (G1) bid on Wednesday morning, working four furlongs in a bullet :46 over the good main track at Saratoga.

With Shaun Bridgmohan subbing for regular rider Martin Garcia, the Bob Baffert-trained colt worked in company with promising stablemate SADDLERANCH (Vindication), who exits a 4 1/2-length score over entry-level allowance rivals on July 23 at Saratoga.

Coil broke off behind his three-year-old workmate down the backside, drew on even terms with Saddleranch coming out of the turn, and finished slightly ahead at the finish line.

"I told him to go 48, but he couldn't have done it easier," Baffert said immediately afterward from his grandstand perch. "It looked like they were going in 49, didn't they?"

Saddleranch finished in :46 2/5, the second-fastest of 15 works at the distance.

Coil broke his maiden in his second career start last November but wasn't seen again until early May, returning with an allowance/optional claiming victory at Hollywood Park. After stretching his win streak to three with a facile tally in the Affirmed H. (G3), he recorded a head second as the odds-on favorite in the Swaps S. (G2) on July 9. Coil rebounded from that setback in terrific fashion, rallying from last to first to defeat SHACKLEFORD (Forestry) by a neck in the July 31 Haskell.

Baffert had been on the fence about the 1 1/4-mile Travers, which sire Point Given captured in 2001, but Wednesday's work probably guaranteed Coil's participation. Other probables for the August 27 race include Shackleford and STAY THIRSTY (Bernardini), a convincing four-length winner of the July 30 Jim Dandy (G2).

Shackleford is scheduled to return to the worktab with a six-furlong breeze on Sunday for Dale Romans, and Stay Thirsty will likely work the same day for Todd Pletcher.
Plum Pretty has not visited the winner's circle since taking the Kentucky Oaks in May (Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos)

Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner PLUM PRETTY (Medaglia d'Oro) readied for a possible start in next Saturday's Alabama S. (G1) with a sharp six-furlong work at Saratoga on Wednesday, breezing six furlongs in 1:11 4/5. Bridgmohan was up as well over the good track.

Runner-up in both the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) and Hollywood Oaks (G2) in her last two starts, Plum Pretty began her run about 15-to-20 lengths behind two other workers on the track and was easily by them inside the eighth pole. She galloped out seven furlongs in 1:24 3/5.

"She looked good. Got a little tired at the end there," Baffert said.

Back at his barn, Baffert expressed optimism for both runners.

"He didn't get tired or anything," Baffert said of Coil. "I've been watching him on the Oklahoma track and he doesn't look that great on it. He worked fast (today), but he sort of goes through the motions. He's got a good mind. The other horse (Saddleranch) is a very good work horse."

Of Plum Pretty, who lost a sensational stretch duel with Alabama probable starter It's Tricky (Mineshaft) in the July 23 CCA Oaks, Baffert said, "When she works like that, she is really on her game.

"I wasn't thinking Alabama," Baffert added, "but after watching her work today, she deserves a chance. It's a tough race, but she's speed, so...she looks good."

Baffert, who planned to fly back to Del Mar on Wednesday afternoon, also mentioned West Virginia Derby (G2) winner Prayer for Relief (Jump Start) as a possible Travers entrant. He also is mulling running Saddleranch in the King's Bishop (G1) on Travers Day, although said he likely will opt for a softer spot.

Baffert already has The Factor (War Front) as a possible top contender in the King's Bishop if he can get the speedy colt ready in time.

"I'm going to give him a serious work when I get back (to Del Mar), then I'll know," Baffert said of The Factor, declining to reveal the date of the workout. "His next work will be serious."



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