04/24/2012 2:47PM

Kentucky Derby workouts: Bodemeister puts in solid drill

Barbara D. Livingston
Bodemeister gets a bath after working five furlongs on Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – It didn’t take trainer Bob Baffert long to make his presence felt around Churchill Downs in advance of this year’s Kentucky Derby.

Less than 24 hours after arriving in Louisville, Baffert sent out the likely Derby favorite Bodemeister to work five furlongs in company with one of his three Kentucky Oaks hopefuls, Jemima’s Pearl, on a clear and crisp Tuesday morning under the Twin Spires. The Baffert show continued about 15 minutes later when his undefeated filly Mamma Kimbo also worked for the Oaks.

Several hours later and across the country, another major player in this year’s Derby, Santa Anita Derby runner-up Creative Cause, worked five furlongs for trainer Mike Harrington at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Bodemeister (five furlongs in 1:00.62) – The Arkansas Derby winner broke off under jockey Martin Garcia at the 4 1/2-furlong pole, approximately four lengths behind Jemima’s Pearl who had jockey Shaun Bridgmohan aboard.

Bodemeister cruised along at a relaxed pace through his opening three furlongs, posting splits of 12.95 seconds, 25.10, and 37.10. He came off the turn and entered the stretch about two lengths behind Jemima’s Pearl and caught her near the sixteenth pole, after which the duo continued on as a team through the wire and to the 7 1/2-furlong pole under only mild encouragement.

Bodemeister completed his final quarter in a crisp 23.52 and then galloped out another very sharp eighth in 12.51 to complete six furlongs midway on the turn in 1:13.13. Jemima’s Pearl was a length or two behind him at that point, but did pass Bodemeister as they re-entered the backstretch and pulled up seven-eighths.

“I was in contact with Martin, and when they got into the turn I told him that was it, to shut him down.” Baffert said. “I could see Shaun was still riding his horse, and I told Martin that Bodemeister had already done enough. I thought he looked good and was really enjoying himself out there.”

[KENTUCKY DERBY WORKOUTS: Latest updates, Mike Welsch’s video reports]

One thing for certain about Bodemeister, he travels a lot smoother when breezing than during his morning gallops. And while today’s work was nothing flashy or extra special, it was solid enough for a horse coming off such a huge performance and who at this juncture doesn’t need to step up his game but simply maintain it over the next 10 days.

Creative Cause (five furlongs in 1:00.20, according to Hollywood Park track clocker Russell Hudak) – According to Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman, Creative Cause came on the track after the mid-morning renovation break as part of the second wave of horses, after the initial rush. With exercise rider John Cisneros aboard, Creative Cause came on the track at the gap near the half-mile pole and jogged 1 1/8 miles, then headed to the seven-furlong chute for more warm up. He then went off for his work and had a full head of steam soon after passing the 5 1/2-furlong pole.

Creative Cause posted fractions of 12 seconds, 23.80, 35.60, and 48.20 for the opening half-mile, at which point Cisneros niggled a bit at Creative Cause, but never hit him. Creative Cause completed the final furlong in 12 seconds, then went out six furlongs in 1:14, appearing to lose interest as he was without company. Although Creative Cause wore cheater blinkers in a workout last week, he did not wear blinkers Tuesday and will not wear blinkers in the Kentucky Derby, according to trainer Mike Harrington. Creative Cause was narrowly beaten in the Santa Anita Derby, the first time he raced without blinkers.

Mamma Kimbo, with Garcia up, also began her work at the 4 1/2-furlong pole and went five-eighths to the 7 1/2-furlong pole in 1:01.88, with internal splits of 12.34, 24.67, and 36.81, completing her final quarter in 25.07 under mild pressure. She was then asked for an extended gallop-out by Garcia, who urged her back around to the 5 1/2-furlong pole to complete seven-eighths in 1:28.54.

The lightly raced Mamma Kimbo, perfect in two starts, had little punch during the closing stages of her first local drill.

“She’s a fast filly, but she got a little tired this morning,” Baffert said. “She ran really hard last time.”

The only other Derby-related workout Tuesday was turned in by Baffert himself, who is now on an exercise regimen of his own, part of the recuperation process following his recent heart attack in Dubai.

“I was on the treadmill this morning at 6 a.m.,” Baffert said. “And if you saw my workout, you’d probably have rated it about a C.”