Updated on 09/16/2011 8:23AM

Bull Market bears watching


ARCADIA, Calif. - Off a lone maiden win at Del Mar the first day of the meet, Bull Market was made the tepid favorite seven weeks later in the closing-day Del Mar Futurity. But he could not bookend the meet with victories, and a poor start and his own overeagerness conspired to send him to defeat.

Now, at a new meet, a new distance, and with an equipment change, Bull Market will attempt to get his arrow pointing up again when he starts in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.

The 1 1/16-mile Norfolk, the fifth race on the card, is the West Coast's final major prep for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Oct. 26 at Arlington Park. Baffert dominated this division at Del Mar, sending out five runners in the Del Mar Futurity. With Del Mar Futurity winner Icecoldbeeratreds at Belmont Park for the Champagne Stakes, and third-place finisher Chief Planner on the sidelines, the Norfolk has come up softer than the Del Mar Futurity, but with Baffert still holding the strongest hand.

In addition to Bull Market, Baffert also sends out Kafwain, the Del Mar Futurity runner-up. Five others challenge.

Bull Market will start from the rail in the Norfolk. He is removing blinkers, which he wore in his first two starts. After winning a five-furlong maiden race on July 24, Bull Market was scratched from an allowance race four weeks later because of a minor illness, then went straight into the seven-furlong Futurity. He was bumped at the start of that race, then rushed up despite jockey Mike Smith's attempts to do otherwise.

"He got sick and missed some time, so he was a little sharp. And when he got bumped, he just flat ran off," Smith said. "I grabbed a hold of him, but Icecoldbeeratreds was leading the race and was racing out past the middle of the track. I couldn't get behind anybody."

Bull Market grabbed the bit and took off like he was fleeing a bank robbery. He rushed up along the rail and made the lead a half-mile into the race, but understandably tired and faded to sixth in the field of eight.

Kafwain is the most accomplished colt in the race. In addition to running second in the Del Mar Futurity, he won Del Mar's Best Pal Stakes.

Royal Siphon was a six-length winner against maidens in his debut at Fairplex on Sept. 18. His trainer, Cliff Sise, said he is running back in this spot because "to me, there's no monsters in there."

"It's almost like a nonwinners-other-than, for $200,000," Sise said.