Updated on 09/16/2011 9:27AM

War Emblem work entertains early birds

War Emblem works seven furlongs in 1:24.17 before the first race on Saturday at Santa Anita, getting his last three furlongs in 35.70 seconds.

ARCADIA, Calif. - War Emblem, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner and a contender for the Breeders' Cup Classic at Arlington Park on Oct. 26, worked seven furlongs in 1:24.17 before the first race on Saturday at Santa Anita.

Under exercise rider Dana Barnes, War Emblem worked alone, racing well off the rail. He ran the opening quarter-mile in 24.77 seconds, a half-mile in 48.47 seconds, and six furlongs in 1:12.20.

Running through the stretch to applause from an appreciative early bird audience, War Emblem finished the last three furlongs in 35.70 seconds.

"We've been looking to slow him down and not go too fast," said Richard Mulhall, the racing manager for The Thoroughbred Corp. "We got him in 1:36 and change, galloping out."

War Emblem has lost 2 of 3 starts since the Preakness Stakes. He finished eighth in the Belmont Stakes, won the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park, and then was sixth as the favorite in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar. In the Pacific Classic, he was unprepared at the start, a point that infuriated trainer Bob Baffert.

"With him, it's up to what he does at the gate," Mulhall said of War Emblem. "If he does the same thing, he'll get beat. If he breaks, we'll be tough."

Serena's Song's son Arbitrate debuts

Arbitrate, a Deputy Minister colt out of the champion mare Serena's Song, makes his career debut on Monday in a one-mile maiden race for 2-year-olds.

Owned by breeders Bob and Beverly Lewis, who campaigned Serena's Song in the mid-1990's, Arbitrate faces six opponents. The race includes Outta Here, who was fifth in the Del Mar Futurity, and Fly to the Wire, who was second against maiden claimers at Del Mar on Sept. 9.

Arbitrate is trained by D. Wayne Lukas, who trained Serena's Song, the champion 3-year-old filly of 1995. Lukas is seeking his first win in Southern California since Jury Box won a maiden race at Hollywood Park on June 30. The stable has not had many runners in recent months, emphasizing divisions in other parts of the country.

Serena's Song has already produced the stakes winners Serena's Tune and Sophisticat, putting more pressure on Arbitrate's career.

"He doesn't have a lot of speed. I think going a mile will be easier than if he was going six furlongs," said Greg Falk, Lukas's assistant. "He's got some big shoes to fill."

Juveniles in weekend spotlight

Racing resumes Wednesday, but there are no graded stakes during the third week of the Oak Tree meeting. The feature race on Saturday and Sunday are two $75,000 six-furlong races for 2-year-olds - the Sunny Slope on Saturday and the Anoakia for fillies on Sunday.

As recently as 1999, the two stakes were considered weekday fixtures. Since 2000, they have been given a more prominent position on the stakes calender as weekend races.

Both stakes serve as preps for $100,000 stakes over seven furlongs at Hollywood Park.

The Anoakia will include at least one new filly to California, Puxa Saco, who finished third in the Brave Raj Stakes at Calder on Sept. 21. She is now trained by Jenine Sahadi. Buffythecenterfold is nominated, but Stute said she will not start in the Anoakia.

The Sunny Slope Stakes has 18 nominations, including Jimmy O, the winner of the Beau Brummel Stakes at Fairplex Park, and Roll Hennessy Roll, a two-time stakes winner at Ruidoso Downs in the summer.

Buffythecenterfold's status unclear

The status of Buffythecenterfold for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies was unclear on Saturday following a five-furlong workout in 59.20 seconds, the second fastest of 40 works at the distance.

Buffythecenterfold was second in the Oak Leaf Stakes on Oct. 6, but trainer Mel Stute said a decision on the Breeders' Cup is unlikely until the beginning of the week. The pre-entry deadline for all Breeders' Cup races is Tuesday.