10/23/2005 11:00PM

BC Sprint: Roman Ruler out with bruise

Silver Train and exercise rider Gustavo Rodriguez work five furlongs in 58.60 at Aqueduct Monday. He did not come out of the work as well as hoped, and may miss the Sprint.

ELMONT, N.Y. - The prospective starting lineup for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint continues to dwindle. Trainer Bob Baffert confirmed Monday that Roman Ruler, who would likely have been second choice in the wagering in the six-furlong Sprint behind odds-on favorite Lost in the Fog, will not start after sustaining a foot bruise during his final workout for the race at Santa Anita last Friday.

Roman Ruler is the second of the 14 pre-entrants to be declared from the Sprint. High Fly became the first defection after he sustained a condylar fracture during a half-mile gate work here Saturday. In addition, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said the starting status of Silver Train was in some doubt following his five-furlong work at Aqueduct on Monday.

Roman Ruler, winner of the Grade 1 Haskell and Grade 2 Dwyer earlier this season, appeared to be coming up to the Sprint in top form after working four furlongs in 46.20 seconds on Friday.

"The injury didn't show up right away," said Baffert. "It might be a deep bruise. It's not too bad and he should be okay in about a week. Naturally it's disappointing, you never get used to these kind of things, but I've learned from previous Breeders' Cups you can't go in 90 percent and expect to win one of these races. If it's stinging a little bit and you try to run, bad things can happen. The owners asked me what I thought, I told them I didn't feel good about it and didn't want to do it, so we're not going to do it."

Roman Ruler is owned by the Fog City Stable of Bill Bianco and David Shimmon.

Baffert said he is uncertain what would be next for Roman Ruler.

"We said all along we would go for the Cigar Mile if we didn't make the Breeders' Cup, but that will depend now on how much training time we will lose," said Baffert.

Silver Train worked five furlongs in 58.40 at Aqueduct under exercise rider Gustavo Rodriguez on Monday. Afterward, Dutrow voiced some concern about the 3-year-old Silver Train's physical condition.

"He worked well, maybe too fast, and then the exercise rider said the horse felt funny in behind when he came off the track," said Dutrow. "We've dealt with similar issues with him in the past. Fortunately, my veterinarian, Dr. [Stephen] Allday is here so we will attack it and hopefully we will hit the right button and he will be ready to go. We will work on it up until entry time on Wednesday before making a final decision. If we can work it out we will be good. If not, he won't run."

Silver Train was one of four Sprint contenders to work on Monday.

At Belmont, Gygistar worked four furlongs in 47.06, Wildcat Heir four furlongs in 46.07, and Lion Tamer four furlongs in 49.04.

Sunday, Taste of Paradise breezed five furlongs in 1:00.80 at Hollywood Park while Battle Won posted a bullet half-mile of 47.00 at Churchill Downs.

Lost in the Fog arrived from northern California on Saturday evening and went to the racetrack to gallop for the first time shortly after dawn on Monday. The undefeated 3-year-old Lost in the Fog had his final work for the Sprint last Thursday at Golden Gate Fields.

- additional reporting by Jay Privman