03/21/2012 3:14PM

Santa Anita: Drill will stretch out for Keeneland's Blue Grass

Shigeki Kikkawa
Drill (3), whose best races have come going one turn, will try to negotiate 1 1/8 miles on Polytrack in next month's Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Drill, the winner of two graded stakes for sprinters but winless in four races around two turns, is bound for the $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 14, trainer Bob Baffert said on Wednesday.

The winner of the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes over seven furlongs at Santa Anita on Feb. 19, Drill will start in the longest race of his career in the Grade 1 Blue Grass, which is run over 1 1/8 miles and is a key prep for the Kentucky Derby on May 5.

In four starts at 1 1/16 miles, Drill’s best finish was a second to Creative Cause in the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes here last October. Drill has not started over that distance since finishing ninth in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park last December.

Baffert said he would like to try Drill on Keeneland’s Polytrack synthetic surface. Last September, Drill won the biggest race of his career in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity over a Polytrack surface.

Wednesday at Santa Anita, Drill officially worked six furlongs in 1:13, although Baffert said he timed the colt in 1:37 for a mile.

“After watching his work, I’m thinking Blue Grass with him,” Baffert said. “He runs well on synthetic. He worked a mile today pretty easy.”