06/10/2013 1:14PM

Belmont Park: Baffert targeting Haskell Invitational with Power Broker

Tom Keyser
Power Broker got his second stakes win in the Easy Goer on Saturday and is a candidate for the Haskell Invitational on July 28.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Bob Baffert has found his Haskell horse.

Despite being a non-factor in this year’s Triple Crown – his only runner, Govenor Charlie, finished next-to-last in the Preakness – Baffert could be a presence in the second half of the 3-year-old season with Power Broker.

On Saturday, Power Broker won his second straight race, a pace-prompting 3 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 Easy Goer Stakes at Belmont Park. Power Broker was coming off an allowance win at Churchill four weeks earlier.

On Sunday, Baffert said Power Broker would be pointed to the $1 million Haskell Invitational on July 28 at Monmouth Park, a race the Hall of Fame trainer has won six times in the last 12 years, including the last three years.

“I’m thinking Haskell with him,” Baffert said. “I was going to think about the Dwyer, but I just ran him twice pretty close. He’s a horse that’s just filling out. I finally got him going the right way again. I don’t want to take a step back.”

At 2, Power Broker won just once from five starts, but the win came as a maiden in the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita. He ended his 2-year-old campaign with a fifth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He didn’t make his 3-year-old debut until the Santa Anita Derby, where he finished a well-beaten fifth.

Power Broker, who earned a 99 Beyer Speed Figure for his Easy Goer effort, returned to Southern California on Sunday along with Zee Bros, who finished fifth in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens for 3-year-old sprinters Saturday. Baffert said he was going to give Zee Bros “a little freshening.” Zee Bros won the Chick Lang Stakes at Pimlico on May 18.

Baffert said he left Grade 2 True North Handicap winner Fast Bullet in New York for now “because there’s nothing for him” in California.

Fast Bullet came off a six-month layoff to win Saturday’s True North by 2 1/2 lengths over fellow Zayat Stable-owned runner Justin Phillip. He ran six furlongs in 1:08.27 and earned a 110 Beyer.

Baffert did not mention a next race for Fast Bullet, but one likely candidate is the Grade 1, $400,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt at Saratoga on Aug. 4.

In reference to the fact that the 5-year-old Fast Bullet has made only five career starts, Baffert said, “I got to make every one count.”

Robbie Davis More than 1 year ago
long way'ssss away ?
John Burton More than 1 year ago
See you at the HASKELL, Bob!
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
DWYER for Power Broker. He won easy enough. He'll win Dwyer. I know BB owns The Haskell, but not with this Guy. Too much speed possible with Oxbow, Verrazano( who I don't favor either) and Itsmyluckyday. OXBOW on class alone.
Dave More than 1 year ago
The Easy Goer field was basically an allowance race, let's be honest. Power Broker is a good horse, but the waters will be MUCH deeper in the Haskell. Far from a lock.
Michael Infurna More than 1 year ago
Who really cares about a race 7 weeks away?? BB can break down 10 horses by the time the Haskell is run!! And why is Paynter still running?? They are lucky that horse is still alive!!
Biggar W More than 1 year ago
There would be a lot less horses alive if they didn't run.
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
And why are you still posting?
Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
I understand the need for being careful with Fast Bullet, who has obviously had physical problems through the years, but "nothing for him" in California? Seems they have a couple of little stakes like the Never Bend and the Bing Crosby that would be good fits...If you just want to rest him and keep him on the East Coast for now, fine. In any event, I hope he stays healthy and we'll see Fast Bullet on his home track for the B.C. Sprint.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Every race counts Bob says. So why run in smaller stakes. That would be a wasted start. He ran lights out in True North. He is the one to beat in his next start. GO BIG!
LeslieH0101 More than 1 year ago
Verrazano has to be reckoned with here
Lawrence Vaccarelli More than 1 year ago
"In reference to the fact that the 5-year-old Fast Bullet has made only five career starts, Baffert said, “I got to make every one count.”.......geez ...I guess bobs telling us all that this is one brittle son of a gun.............
michael More than 1 year ago
Thanks Bob for consistently bringing a fine horse to the Haskell every year. This race should be considered for a name change. Now, not in the future. as the Amory Haskell-Bob Baffert Jersey Shore Championship. The race needs good horses every year, and the field is still short one or two or three. But hats off to Bob Baffert for helping bring a credibility to this Jersey Shore tradition. More trainers need to do the same thing, but seem to think that a million bucks is not worth their time and effort. go Bobby Go.
JeanK More than 1 year ago
Power broker is ready now. $1k exacta Power broker - Itsmyluckyday, then parlay the cash on Power Broker win in the Travers.. love this horse.