06/11/2009 11:00PM

Zensational may face elders in Triple Bend

Benoit & Associates
Bob Baffert, who trains Zensational, said he is "not afraid to throw him into the deep end right now."

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The rapidly improving 3-year-old Zensational will try to dazzle older sprinters next month at Hollywood Park if trainer Bob Baffert and owner Ahmed Zayat go ahead with preliminary plans for an ambitious class jump to Grade 1.

Zensational won a fast-paced allowance sprint for 3-year-olds May 29, earning a 101 Beyer and looking for more. He did not need to look far. Baffert said Friday he might start Zensational against older horses July 5 in the seven-furlong Triple Bend Handicap.

"I'm not afraid to throw him into the deep end of the pool right now," Baffert said Friday, a day after Zensational worked a sharp half-mile at Santa Anita in 46.40 seconds. "The way he ran, and the way he came out of it . . . he's ready to run."

The long-range goal for Zensational is the Breeders' Cup Sprint. In 2001, the 3-year-old Squirtle Squirt finished second in the Triple Bend, and that fall won the BC Sprint.