Bayern got his first feel for the track at Oaklawn Park on Thursday, and connections are waiting to find out where he fits in the Kentucky Derby mix.
The Bob Baffert trainee galloped once around the oval right after the break and was scheduled to school in the paddock on Friday afternoon.
Bayern has only had two starts, but he created considerable buzz by winning them both with ease at Santa Anita. In his seven-furlong maiden effort, he kicked clear by 3 1/4 lengths and then came back to make light work of a first level allowance at a two-turn mile with a 15-length score.
“You don’t really know how good he is until you run in this kind of race,” assistant trainer Jim Barnes said. “He needs to continue on. If he does carry on in his third race like he has in his first two, he’s pretty good. It’s time for him to step up now, but he had his two-turn race, and he handled that. This is our next step.”
Gary Stevens was aboard for the first two races and will be reunited with Bayern when they break from post 8. The race may or may not have an abundance of early pace, but anything can happen when the gates open.
“I’m sure that Bob will talk to Gary and tell him what he wants him to do. We have a good post to work with, and that will help a lot because they won’t have to overcome too much, hopefully. Gary knows this horse and he’ll know what to do as the race develops to be in the right spot.”
Baffert, who won the 2012 Arkansas Derby with Bodemeister, has, since 2010, sent out 20 stakes horses at Oaklawn that have combined for 12 wins and several other board hits.
Edited Oaklawn Park release