05/09/2012 3:23PM

2012 Preakness: Bodemeister looks sharp in mile jog

Jerry Dzierwinski/Maryland Jockey Club
Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another jogged around a muddy track at Pimlico on Wednesday under exercise rider Johnny Garcia.

Though it was only a jog, Kentucky Derby runner-up Bodemeister apparently made quite the impression on his first day back to the track Wednesday at Churchill Downs, enough to think that he is well on his way to making a start in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 19.

“Bode super-sharp on track today … Amazing horse,” is what trainer Bob Baffert texted to owner Ahmed Zayat early Wednesday morning after Bodemeister jogged a mile at Churchill.

Baffert has said that he won’t make a firm decision on whether Bodemeister would run in the Preakness until he sees the horse in person over the weekend. On Wednesday, Zayat said he has mixed emotions about running the horse back in two weeks off such a grueling effort in the Derby. Bodemeister’s fractions for the opening quarter, half-mile, and six furlongs were among the top five ever recorded in the 138-year history of the Derby. Those fractions took a toll late as he was passed in deep stretch by I’ll Have Another.

Zayat said that in addition to Baffert he heard from other horsemen based at Churchill how well Bodemeister looked on the track Wednesday. Zayat said horsemen commented on his colt’s demeanor, his coat, and how much weight he carried during his appearance on track.

“Obviously, he’s doing really, really well,” Zayat said. “I think the prudent thing is to wait and see how he continues to progress. I’ll personally fly in to watch him train and look at his next work as Baffert is going to do then we’ll have to decide then. If you look at the horse right now he’s telling me he wants to run. If you look at my heart, I’m scared. But he deserves to run also.”

[PREAKNESS STAKES: Probable starters, contender profiles, latest news]

Last year, Zayat was in a similar situation with Nehro, who finished a late-running second to Animal Kingdom in Derby. Zayat and trainer Steve Asmussen opted to skip the Preakness and wait for the Belmont, believing Nehro would relish the 1 1/2-mile distance. The track came up sloppy that day, and Nehro came out of his fourth-place finish with an ankle chip that sidelined him the remainder of the year.

Whereas Nehro was more of a grinder, Bodemeister’s running style is not one that suggests he necessarily wants 1 1/2 miles though he is the son of 2003 Belmont winner Empire Maker.

“We haven’t made that decision,” Zayat said. “But what you said is absolutely valid. … Who knows what we’re sitting on? He’s a very nice horse. Is he a brilliant horse? He needs to do more.”

Also at Churchill on Wednesday, Derby third-place finisher Dullahan went back to the track and jogged two miles, according to trainer Dale Romans.

Romans said the horse “looks good” but said owner Jerry Crawford would make the decision whether to run in the Preakness or await the Belmont.

At Pimlico, Derby winner I’ll Have Another jogged once around a muddy Pimlico track under exercise rider Johnny Garcia on his first day to the track since winning the Derby.

Jack Sisterson, the assistant to trainer Doug O’Neill, said that I’ll Have Another’s energy level is “fantastic.”

“As soon as he knew he was going back to the track, he was full of energy,” Sisterson said. “It’s as if he’s never had a race. He’s doing fantastic.”

O’Neill was expected to be at Pimlico on Thursday to begin supervising I’ll Have Another’s training.

At Hollywood Park, Derby fifth-place finisher Creative Cause jogged seven furlongs and galloped seven furlongs.

“He was more enthusiastic than I thought he’d be,” trainer Mike Harrington said.

Harrington said that Creative Cause may not have a workout in coming days, just a series of “strong gallops.”

“We’ll have to see how much energy he has,” Harrington said. “I’m pretty happy with his weight. I don’t think he’s lost too much weight in this whole deal. He’s eating.”

At the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland, Derby fourth-place finisher Went the Day Well galloped in a field near trainer Graham Motion’s barn.

Motion said he planned to ship Went the Day Well to Pimlico the early part of next week in order to get the horse a few gallops over the track.

“The track was so different last year than I expected, it’ll benefit him to have the experience,” said Motion, who finished second in last year’s Preakness with Derby winner Animal Kingdom. “It was pretty deep, which is pretty different than it had been.”

In other Preakness news:

◗ Teeth of the Dog, third in the Wood Memorial, and the New York-bred stakes winner Zetterholm were both entered in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park, though their connections would prefer to run in the Preakness if they can get in.

The Preakness is limited to 14 runners, plus two also-eligibles. As of Wednesday, there were 17 horses under consideration for the race.

Teeth of the Dog has $100,000 in non-restricted stakes earnings and $136,450 in career earnings, which put him ahead of most of the others looking to get in.

As of Wednesday, it would appear Zetterholm could crack the Preakness field, pending some unexpected starters.

– additional reporting by Steve Andersen



Rick Maluchnik More than 1 year ago
super horse . . . I hope he runs and wins.
GregW More than 1 year ago
Some horses get better the more they are worked. There was a day when trainers looked for a race between the derby and the preakness. Run Bode in the Preakness and then send him to Belmont if he runs well. He most likely will only see a few more races this year after that and will get all the rest he needs.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Jose Valladares More than 1 year ago
i suggest you handicap the race without him he looked spent iam sure Baffert has a replacement hes a really nice colt there's no need for it plenty of good races later on in the year
Ian Fick More than 1 year ago
Valladares. You have no idea what heck comes out of your mouth, do you? If Smith had not COOKED this horse he would have won by 10. Would certainly have a shot at the TC. He looke so spent he beat 18 horses....LOL!
Ian Fick More than 1 year ago
The story is this: they will make an announcement when THEY are ready, not when YOU are ready...LOL...Who do YOU think you are?
Scott More than 1 year ago
First, I do want what's best for the horse and that is to probably skip the Preakness and wait for the Belmont. However, as a fan, I really would like to see the best horses run in the Preakness and Bode definitely is in the discussion for the best 3 year old. Let's say Bode skips the Preakness, with Dullahan also skipping it, that leaves only the 4th and 5th place Derby finishers to test I'll Have Another. Now, I'm not saying that Went the Day Well and Creative Cause are slouches, but should IHA go on to win the Triple Crown, you just know that there will be people who will discount the Preakness, because Bode wasn't there. I still think this is a very nice 3 year old class and really would like to see all of them contest the whole Triple Crown. Just think about this - if Affirmed and Alydar ran in this day and age, then there's little doubt that Alydar would not of ran in the Preakness and odds are, he would have beaten Affirmed in the Belmont. Winning 3 races in 5 weeks is tough to begin with, but when you consider that most of the competition will only run in 2 of the 3 it becomes much more difficult. We can point to breeding all we want, but you must consider the fresh horse aspect too when defaming this era's horses. Sham tried all 3 races against Secretariat and Alydar tried all 3, so I'm hopeful that Bodemeister will too.
Greg Rouch More than 1 year ago
To keep the first four Derby finishers running in all the Triple Crown races, there should be bonus purse money for starting in all three. For instance, if you run third in the Derby, Preakness or Belmont, your third place purse money will be doubled when, and only when, you complete all three races. Thus, incentive to show up, even if you don't hit the board in the other races. The tracks could band together and recruit corporate sponsorship for the bonuses. (Why are we not the Grand Commissioners of Thoroughbred Racing, by the way? The current poohbahs leave something to be desired.) Interesting point you made about Alydar and Affirmed!
Jose Valladares More than 1 year ago
they wont run bodemeister next week his tongue was on the floor after the Derby
Greg Rouch More than 1 year ago
They will be fooled by an apparent recovery that goes only so deep. Horses often exhibit what I call a shallow recovery or surface recovery. They have recharged the batteries enough to act like their usual happy, bouncy selves, but that doesn't mean they have recharged deep down enough to run another big race without crawling home the last 3/16. No matter how good the trainer - and no doubt Baffert is a sharp one - he can't tell how deep down the recovery goes until the next stretch call.
Lucifer More than 1 year ago
101 Winning Beyer suggest anyone of the top 5 can come back and win the Preakness. Jockey has placed IHA colt in perfect spots, can he keep it up??
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I heard that after Bodemeister jogged that the Red Sea parted and Seattle Slew and Secretariat came back to life!!
Ange More than 1 year ago
bah hah hah!
Lucifer More than 1 year ago
That would be nice.
Jeff Byrd More than 1 year ago
I just wonder what you guys thought of Curlin when he lostr the derby after 3 or 4 starts? and then went on t obe 2 time HOY
Ian Fick More than 1 year ago
Havent seen a horse that good till now with Bode.
Ian Fick More than 1 year ago
The haters are certainly out there. Their horses finished 18th and 19th but they are all here knocking Bode....l.ol
James P More than 1 year ago
I love all these armchair quarterbacks blaming Mike Smith for the ride. As if horses are just like automobiles and all you do is press the gas or the break or turn the steering wheel. Who is to say if Smith strangled Bodemeister that he wouldn't have finished off the board. These are animals for goodness sakes! Bode still hasn't learned how to be a racehorse. I suppose you could blame the trainer but some horses never figure out how to rate properly.
Morris More than 1 year ago
IF.!! if a frog had wings , he wouldnt bump his ass when he jumps. baffert realized early on ,that bodemiester was special. but in order to run him in the derby,he had to earn money. he did not have time to experment, nor coach a different running style. call it brillant, call it gutty, call it insane. but no matter how you label it. bodemiester ran the eyes out of them. & almost pulled off a upset, of the biggest kind. these younger genoration of trainers have become so trendy, that if bodemiester had won the derby, it would have ruined 2 yr. old racing. all you bleeding heart would have talking about how smart bob baffert is.& noone would race 2 yr olds ,anymore. after what bob baffert did with war emblem, i dont question mr . baffert very little. he takes a horse & finds his strong points & then devolps them. & is very good at it . i have been paying attenion to horse racing since the days of the great swaps. from what ive seen , bob baffert is one of the greatest trainers of all times. and is on the verge of perfecting the art of peaking a horse on a certin day. when he gets it perfected , he will be unstopable. you go , mr baffert, & we will listen to the arm chair trainers blow. some people dont need to wear eye glasses to the races. because they can already see more than they can understand, about the situation. this all is the opinion of "an ole railbird".
Greg Kilka More than 1 year ago
didn't BB inherit War Emblem between his Illinois Derby win and the Derby? BB's a HOF trainer but War Emblem is not the greatest example of BB"s wizardry. Bode ran his eyeballs out. BB and Smith had a plan to hit the front and go as far and long as they could. They implemented the plan and lost.
Ian Fick More than 1 year ago
And how did your plan go Kilka?
Ian Fick More than 1 year ago
And a very good opinion sir. God bless you and stay around for a while.....