Trainer Bob Baffert on Monday declared Bodemeister definite for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course.
“He looks good, his coat is good and he is eating well,” Baffert said after the colt completed his Monday morning gallop at Churchill Downs under exercise rider George Alvarez. “I see no reason not to take him (to Baltimore for Saturday’s Preakness).”
Owned by Zayat Stables and Michel and Tiffany Moreno, Bodemeister recorded some of the fastest fractions in the 138-year history of the Kentucky Derby only to get run down late by I’ll Have Another.
“He ran an amazing race,” Baffert said. “At the eighth pole when (jockey) Mike (Smith) went to the left-handed stick, the yellow caution light came on. He tried to fight back and he hung on for second. He was glorious in defeat.”
Baffert liked how Bodemeister bounced out of the race.
“He cooled out quickly and started to eat right after the race,” Baffert said. “I was worried that he might be wiped out and just stay in the back of his stall for three days and sulk, but he never did.”
Baffert said that Bodemeister would not have a work before the Preakness.
“I didn’t work (2010 Preakness winner) Lookin At Lucky after the Derby,” Baffert said. “If a horse didn’t really run or didn’t show up in the Derby, I might breeze them to see if I was missing something.”
Bodemeister entered the Kentucky Derby off a 9 ½-length victory in the Arkansas Derby (G1) when he was ridden for the first time by Smith.
“He deserves it (a shot at the Preakness),” Baffert said of Bodemeister. “He won the Arkansas Derby and then came back in three weeks and ran a great race. He looks good and I don’t see why he can’t run another one.”
–Churchill Downs Communications contributed to this report.
Bodemeister/Reed Palmer photo