Updated on 09/16/2011 8:37AM

War Emblem's back on track, for exercise


ARCADIA, Calif. - Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem took his first spin around a California racetrack on Tuesday, galloping 1 3/8 miles at Santa Anita. No plans have been made for the lean-framed colt, according to trainer Bob Baffert.

"We're just going to play it by ear, see how's he's doing," Baffert said. "He's pretty light."

War Emblem's gallop was his first ontrack exercise since stumbling at the start and finishing eighth in the Belmont Stakes on June 8. While Baffert confirmed the colt will campaign the second half of the season, plans will not be made until he has discussions with War Emblem's owner Prince Ahmed Salman and racing manager Richard Mulhall.

War Emblem's attitude has changed since arriving in California, Baffert said. "He likes it here," Baffert said. "He's nicer than he was in Kentucky."

Beaten Crowned Dancer had a fever

Crowned Dancer may have had a valid excuse for his dull third-place finish Sunday in the Haggin Stakes at Hollywood Park. Crowned Dancer was favored at odds of 3-10, based on a five-length stakes win and a 92 Beyer Speed Figure May 26. On Sunday, he regressed to a 70 Beyer and came out of the race with a fever.

Trainer Chris Paasch said Crowned Dancer's temperature the day after the race was 100.3 degrees, one degree higher than normal. In retrospect, Paasch suspected something was amiss when Crowned Dancer arrived in the paddock.

"He's usually on his toes and happy, but he came over with his head down and was breaking out in a sweat," Paasch said. "By the time he left the paddock, I could see the foam running down his legs."

The colt's demeanor did not change in the post parade. Jockey Alex Solis told Paasch that Crowned Dancer was "flat-footed with his head down" all the way to the gate. An endoscopic exam afterward showed Crowned Dancer did not bleed.

"The good news is he pulled up sound," Paasch said, speculating he may have been compromised by an intestinal virus. Crowned Dancer's status for the Hollywood Juvenile on July 20 will depend on how quickly he recovers and how he trains in the coming weeks.

McCarron, Came Home get ready

Five days before his official retirement, jockey Chris McCarron was at Santa Anita bright and early Tuesday morning to work the colt who might be the final ride of his career. Came Home, who will be favored Sunday in the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap, worked at 6:30 a.m. under McCarron, getting a half-mile in 47.40 seconds, breezing.

McCarron said Came Home "just cruised around there. He came out of his race in Kentucky extremely well."

Came Home will face a small field in the 1 1/16-mile Affirmed, his first start since finishing sixth in the Kentucky Derby.

While the Affirmed is widely considered a prep for the $500,000 Swaps Stakes on July 14, Came Home's trainer, Paco Gonzalez, said Came Home has options beyond the 1 1/8-mile Swaps. According to Gonzalez, consideration is being made to skipping the Swaps and bringing Came Home to Saratoga fresh for the Grade 1 King's Bishop, a seven-furlong race for 3-year-olds on Aug. 24.

Top 2-year-olds nearing debuts

The 2-year-olds considered the best in California are getting closer to a start. Baffert's filly Atlantic Ocean turned in another sensational work Tuesday, five furlongs in a bullet 58 seconds, .60 faster then the second-fastest of the morning at the distance. Baffert also worked Macho Image a half-mile. Macho Image finished second in his debut on June 9, a race that is expected to wake him up. He worked Tuesday in 47.20.

The first Godolphin 2-year-old of the year will debut Saturday at Hollywood. Parhelion, a colt by Southern Halo, will be the stable's initial 2002 juvenile starter, according to trainer Eoin Harty. Last year, the first colt Harty ran at Hollywood, Sleeping Weapon, won by four lengths. Harty said the stable's top2-year-olds will surface at Del Mar. "Right now, we're six weeks off from seeing the best of them," he said.

Parhelion will debut with at least one bullet work. On June 5 at Santa Anita, he smoked a half-mile in 46.60, fastest of 28 works at the distance.

Crafty C. T. might ship to Florida

Crafty C. T. might be headed out of state again for his next start. The third-place finisher in the Met Mile, Crafty C. T. may ship to Calder for the $400,000 Smile Sprint Handicap on July 13.

"It's either that or the Bing Crosby [July 27 at Del Mar]," said Howard Zucker, Crafty C. T.'s trainer.

Since Crafty C. T.'s regular rider Chris McCarron will no longer be available, Zucker said Jerry Bailey would ride Crafty C. T. at Calder.

Mellow Fellow prepares for next start

Mellow Fellow works Wednesday at Santa Anita for new trainer Bill Spawr, and is on schedule for the $300,000 Triple Bend Handicap July 6 at Hollywood.

In his last start on May 11, Mellow Fellow won the Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Sprint Handicap, beating subsequent True North winner Explicit, and subsequent Met Mile winner Swept Overboard.

Mellow Fellow was purchased privately after the Bay Meadows race, and will race for Sid and Jenny Craig in the Triple Bend.