Updated on 09/16/2011 7:52AM

Forbidden Apple fresh for Baruch

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Forbidden Apple, the 121-pound highweight, figures to be close to the pace under Jose Santos in Friday's $150,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The more Christophe Clement thought about it, the less sense it made to run Forbidden Apple in last month's Poker Handicap. Despite Forbidden Apple's affinity for Belmont Park's turf course, Clement thought he was at a disadvantage facing the Bobby Frankel-trained Shibboleth on a hot day.

Though Shibboleth bombed as the 1-2 favorite, Clement said he has no regrets keeping Forbidden Apple out.

"It was 100 degrees and the ground was rock hard," Clement said. "I'm coming in with a fresh horse. I thought it could do more harm than good. You've got to look at the overall picture."

Clement hopes the overall picture for Forbidden Apple includes the Breeders' Cup Mile on Oct. 26. His road to the Breeders' Cup begins with Friday's $150,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga. The Grade 2 Bernard Baruch, scheduled for nine furlongs on turf, drew a field of seven plus three horses entered for main-track only.

Forbidden Apple has won graded stakes at a mile, nine furlongs, and 10 furlongs. A 7-year-old son of Pleasant Colony, Forbidden Apple has run only once this year, finishing second to Beat Hollow in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap.

Forbidden Apple, the 121-pound highweight, figures to be close to the pace under Jose Santos in a race that lacks a true front-runner.

It was a lack of speed that forced Jerry Bailey to send Del Mar Show after Strut the Stage earlier than planned in the Dixie Handicap on Preakness Day. Though Del Mar Show collared Strut the Stage, he weakened late and finished second. Del Mar Show came back to win the New Hampshire Sweepstakes and will try to give Bill Mott his fourth Bernard Baruch victory in the last five years.

No Slip is 3 for 5 including two graded stakes victories since coming to Bobby Frankel's barn last year. An injured ankle prevented him from running at Belmont, according to Frankel. If No Slip's six-furlong move in 1:13.80 on July 13 is an indication, he's ready to go.

Phil Johnson, who won a division of the 1968 Bernard Baruch with More Scents, sends out Volponi, upset winner of the Poker Handicap. Johnson felt Volponi was struggling with Belmont's main track this summer, so he switched him back to the turf - where he was a stakes-winner at 2 - and was rewarded.

"I knew he could run on the turf," Johnson said. "I didn't know he could run that fast."

Baptize, who won the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Stakes over this course last summer, and Navesink, a multiple-stakes winner at nine furlongs, complete the field.

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