Updated on 04/18/2012 3:59PM

Oaklawn: Bodemeister, Secret Circle, Sabercat get green light for Kentucky Derby

Coady Photography
Bodemeister received a 105 Beyer Speed Figure for his win in the Arkansas Derby.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Bodemeister, Secret Circle, and Sabercat, the first three finishers, respectively, in the Arkansas Derby on Saturday, all came out of the race in good order and will share a plane ride to Kentucky on Monday morning to begin final preparations for the May 5 Kentucky Derby, their respective camps said Sunday morning at Oaklawn Park.

Bodemeister and Secret Circle will be accompanied by groom Roberto Luna, a long-time employee of trainer Bob Baffert who is entrusted with his top horses. Luna on Sunday morning said both Bodemeister and Secret Circle were in good shape.

Darren Fleming, the assistant to Steve Asmussen, who trains Sabercat, said Sabercat returned well from the race and would be on the same flight as the Baffert horses on Monday.

Jim Barnes, the Baffert assistant who oversaw the training of his horses here, returned to California early Sunday morning, but will head back to Kentucky later this week to oversee the training of Baffert’s horses at Churchill Downs.

Bodemeister stamped himself as one of the favorites – if not the favorite – for the Derby with his overpowering, 9 1/2-length victory on Saturday. He was awarded a 108 Beyer Speed Figure. But he will be attempting to become the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Derby without having made a start at age 2.

“He got behind in his training, which is the way it can be with young horses,” Barnes said. “But he came around. The good ones do that. He had shins, nothing major. You can’t push them. You have to take your time and let them develop and come around.”

Mike Smith rode Bodemeister for the first time Saturday, and will retain the mount for the Derby, Baffert said Sunday.


Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
Everybody forgets about Hansen. Reference Spend A Buck's 1985 derby. He did NOT run his best race in the Bluegrass and that works to his advantage. Do NOT count him out. You have been warned. If Hansen is posted between 6-12 post, put your tickets in. Dominguez has been with him long enough to know where to put this Tapit colt from the gun and they will get that distance. He is a Tapit not a Speightstown. Distance is in his blood. His daddy has cranked out Graded Stakes champs for years now. Hansen just needs to rate like he did at Aqueduct. In my opinion, all he will be holding off come the last call is the same colt he held off in the Breeders Cup, Union Rags. That exacta is going to be so simple because it will end the way this whole thing started. Maybe Union Rags pinches him this time but do NOT forget about the Grey.
Douglas More than 1 year ago
What Are The Odds Of BRAD FREE Making ( ILL HAVE ANOTHER ) As His Best Bet In The KENTUCKY DERBY ................ Anyone - Anyone !
matthew_melton More than 1 year ago
. . More than 1 year ago
what happened with the love affair between Baffert and Martin Garcia?
Tom Hua More than 1 year ago
MS is more seasoned than MG, my man.
Anne More than 1 year ago
As a good as Bodemeister looked - he is a bad bet for the Derby as he did not run as a 2 year old and that seems to be an absolute must for a Derby winner.
matthew_melton More than 1 year ago
valid point. Trends can always be broken, but if you see that as a negative, it is valid to stay away (especially at a short price)
David Craighead More than 1 year ago
Now, that the Ark is under Bodemeister's belt my only concern about him going into the Kentucky Derby is if, he will have the energy and poise to do it again and run hard as before. Sometimes after winning a big race of the quality horses propensity is to bounce and not have the spurt as before . I wish the Baffert camp all the success in the upcoming Kentucky Derby G-1 event ! . he's a prime contentor in the 138th matchup !.
John Howland More than 1 year ago
If Baffert runs Secret Circle and Liason in The Derby, he keeps 2 other horses out,which is the only way to make sense of them going.
matthew_melton More than 1 year ago
he shouldn't run either horse. neither one will get the ground.. neither one is good enough to place either. your point is valid though. in theory, he does keep 2 out that could win..
John Howland More than 1 year ago
Eddie S More than 1 year ago
Rags has 2-3 gears. The other horses are one dimensional.
matthew_melton More than 1 year ago
u sure about that? i love rags as well.. everyone's a genius when it comes to young 3yo's though.. and it never seems to pan out for those people.
Eddie S More than 1 year ago
Union Rag blows by them all....
Tom Hua More than 1 year ago
Rick Marciniak More than 1 year ago
I know a lot of us are looking at Bode possibly winning this race, but remember..remember...no horse has won the derby as an unraced 2 year old since Apollo in 1882. That's some serious history and record that could be broken. do you want to take that chance. Here's an article from DRF last year to refresh our minds from Privman. http://www.drf.com/news/kentucky-derby-trend-continues-stand-test-time
tahoepete27 More than 1 year ago
If the most recent KY Derbies have shown us anything, it is that historical trends are ripe for throwing out the window. Big Brown was as close to an unraced 2yo as you can get, and Animal Kingdom had never raced on dirt before. Narrowing down selections through historical trends, over recent preparation (races and workouts), is, imo, a bad way to go.
Arthur Spalding More than 1 year ago
The Apollo rule is 130 years old for a reason. I cannot see, as good as Baffert is, this horse getting the distance with the kind of pace pressure he will face at CD. Hansen however is very intriguing to me now. He showed us in the Gotham he can rate, yet he went right to the front and came home fast. I was going to toss him but cannot. Will be playing Union with 6 and hope I get a price horse home 1st