Baffert: Coil looking good, a go for the Travers - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Baffert: Coil looking good, a go for the Travers

Press Release

A 46.12 bullet half-mile work on Tuesday at Saratoga Race Course appeared enough to persuade Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert to send Coil to Saturday's Grade 1, $1 million Travers Stakes.

“Coil, if he looks great tomorrow, he is definitely running in the Travers,” Baffert declared after the work.  See video of Coil's work below.

The Grade 1 Haskell Invitational winner was sent out immediately after the renovation break on the main track in company with stablemate and Grade 2 West Virginia Derby winner Prayer for Relief, who is also under consideration for the 1 ¼-mile “Mid-Summer Derby.” Stepping onto the oval shortly after 8:45 a.m., the duo jogged counterclockwise past the finish line before picking up the pace on the backside. Prayer for Relief broke off ahead of his stablemate, but Coil easily drew on even terms and finished in front. He was clocked galloping out five furlongs in 58.44 under jockey Martin Garcia.

“I liked his work today,” Baffert said. “He showed a lot of energy going to the pole. Martin said he hasn't felt that great in a while. I was looking for something like that. Prayer for Relief is a really nice horse and he gave him a big head start, and [Coil] came to him the way he usually does like he's not moving. I can't believe he worked as fast he did, but he's just a really good horse. So right now, all systems go.”

Coil, who scratched his right eyeball last week, breezed with a protective cup shielding that eye from dirt and debris.

“I was having a little problem with the eyeball, but I worked him with a protective cup that he could see through and I'm glad I did because he had a lot of mud on it,” Baffert noted. “He came back and it looks like he's cooling off like it wasn't really hard on him. The last few times we've worked him here he's come back here and wanted to step on his tongue coming off the track because it was really deep. But the track was pretty fast today, [NYRA] had it in great shape.”

Owned by Mike Pegram and Karl Watson, Coil is a son of 2001 Preakness, Belmont , Haskell and Travers winner Point Given, whom Baffert also trained.

“Point Given had more of a foundation,” Baffert said. “This horse doesn't have that foundation. He is doing things right now because of raw talent. He is fast, and he is rateable. It's not like he is one dimensional. I am happy the way he looked. It looked like he was just cruising. That's what really good horses do.”

Among others, Coil is expected to meet Preakness winner and Haskell runner-up Shackleford, as well as Jim Dandy winner and Belmont Stakes runner-up Stay Thirsty, in the Travers.

“Stay Thirsty, his last two races have been really big races,” Baffert said. “The Belmont he ran great and the Jim Dandy, too. He is the horse to beat. Shackleford always shows up. And the other horses I really don't know that much about. I think that if your horse is doing well you have to give him a chance to run in the Travers, it is such a prestigious race. His daddy [Point Given] won it, I don't know why he can't.”

Baffert did not rule out the possibility of a Travers start for Prayer for Relief, who was clocked in 47.31.

“I have until tomorrow [to decide what to do with Prayer for Relief],” Baffert said. “I have nothing else to do here but to lay around and think about it.”

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