Updated on 09/16/2011 8:46AM

Crown denied, but road goes on

Since his loss in the Belmont Stakes, War Emblem has had three successively longer workouts, the latest a five-furlong breeze at Santa Anita.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The disappointment of the Belmont Stakes has now spent one month in the rearview mirror, so the image is fading. Now Bob Baffert has his eyes focused down the road with War Emblem, who on Tuesday worked for the third time since the Belmont as he prepares for a start in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on Aug. 4.

The schedule Baffert is following is similar to the one he used one year ago with Point Given. Both colts returned to California following the Belmont, trained initially at Santa Anita, were polished at Del Mar, and then traveled to New Jersey. The circumstances, however, are different. Point Given was coming off victories in both the Preakness and Belmont. War Emblem won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, but stumbled over his chance to sweep the Triple Crown.

On Tuesday morning at Santa Anita, War Emblem went an easy five furlongs in 1:01.60. The clockers labeled the move breezing. Only four of the 44 horses who worked five furlongs at Santa Anita on Tuesday had their works termed breezing. As usual, exercise rider Dana Barnes was aboard.

"He went real easy," Baffert said later Tuesday morning. "He went out at 6:30. He always goes out first. And it's so hot here. At 6:30, it's still nice. He just cruised around there."

This was the longest War Emblem has worked since the Belmont. He worked three furlongs, then four, and now is up to five. Because of his wiry frame, he does not need much work to stay fit.

"He's a light horse," Baffert said. "He looks good, really good."

War Emblem is scheduled to have one more work at Santa Anita before leaving with the rest of Baffert's stable for Del Mar on July 18. He then will train there in preparation for the Haskell.

The Haskell falls one day after Baffert's wedding to Jill Moss in Coronado, Calif., but the trainer said he will be at Monmouth for the race.

"I have to go. It's business," he said. "This was not in the plan. When we were setting the date for the marriage, we tried to pick a weekend when there was a big 3-year-old race, because I didn't have any good 3-year-olds. I told Jill, 'Watch, now we'll get a good 3-year-old.' I like going to Monmouth. They're very trainer-friendly."

Baffert said War Emblem is still feisty. "You cannot drop your guard on him at all," Baffert said. "But he does seem friendlier out here."