05/08/2012 3:15PM

Preakness 2012: Kentucky Derby 1-2 the focus

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Maryland Jockey Club/Jim McCue
I'll Have Another arrived at Pimlico on Monday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The chances were roughly one in 153 that I’ll Have Another and Bodemeister would emerge from the Kentucky Derby as the horses deserving of the most attention, at least according to their $306 exacta payoff. Yet as a post-Derby calm settled over the Churchill Downs stable area, the odds were much shorter that those two will dominate the discussion when the Preakness machine starts revving up in the next few days, another new and intriguing storyline in what has become a Triple Crown season filled with such.

While I’ll Have Another left here Monday afternoon for Baltimore, Bodemeister, the Derby runner-up, was among those staying behind to soon resume his training regimen. Early Tuesday morning, while Pimlico Race Course officials reported I’ll Have Another no worse the wear for his travels and merely walking the shed row, Bodemeister was laying down in his stall in the Bob Baffert barn at Churchill, surely a sign of the toll his extreme Derby effort took from him, while perhaps meaning nothing more than he is a smart horse taking care of himself.

Baffert returned to California shortly after the Derby and will not return here to oversee Bodemeister’s training until the weekend, at which time he is expected to render a judgment on running in the May 19 Preakness. If he does run, as many hope, Bodemeister will be the morning-line favorite over I’ll Have Another, according to Pimlico’s linemaker, Frank Carulli.

“If Bodemeister runs, I’m 100 percent sure he’ll be the favorite,” said Carulli. “I can’t see any scenario where that wouldn’t happen.”

Carulli added that I’ll Have Another will be second choice on his Preakness line, and Dullahan, third in the Derby, the third choice. The connections of Dullahan also are waiting a while to commit to the race. “We’re probably going to wait until Saturday or Sunday,” said Dale Romans, trainer of Dullahan.

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

Wednesday was to be the morning that virtually all of the Preakness hopefuls who ran in the Derby were to return to the track. Meanwhile, at Pimlico, officials were elated about I’ll Have Another being sent to Baltimore by trainer Doug O’Neill earlier than any Derby winner in recent memory. Unlike most others, however, who were bedded down in the traditional Stall 40 reserved for the Derby winner in the Preakness barn, I’ll Have Another is in Stall 17 in Barn D, which for years was occupied by horses trained by Richard Small.

“We’re happy, big-time,” said Pimlico spokesman Mike Gathagan. Following his charter flight from Louisville, I’ll Have Another got a police escort from the Baltimore-Washington International Airport and pulled up to the Pimlico stable gate at 5:07 p.m. Eastern on Monday. “All four Baltimore TV stations were live when he came off the van,” said Gathagan.

At this early date, as many as 17 3-year-olds are under consideration for the 137th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Preakness, the 1 3/16-mile second jewel of the Triple Crown. That list includes the respective four-five finishers from the Derby, Went the Day Well and Creative Cause, as well as such new shooters as Hierro, winner of the Derby Trial at Churchill, and Pretension, winner of the Canonero II Stakes at Pimlico. Entries will be taken May 16. Beyond the 14 main-body entrants, an also-eligibles list of as many as two horses will be used if needed.

Horses based at Churchill will be flown May 16 to Baltimore, said Buddy Fife, booking agent for the Tex Sutton charter company. The flight not only will include horses racing in the Preakness, but in the numerous other stakes on the Friday and Saturday undercards. In some years, two separate flights have been required, but Fife said he currently has enough orders to fill just one plane.

Richard More than 1 year ago
Baffert has never liked the Belmont! The only time he has run horses in the Belmont was when his horse had won both crowns.Do not expect Baffert to run Bodemeister in the Belmont. The Belmont has ruined many horses that were never heard of again!
Charlie More than 1 year ago
Went The Day Well will win the Preakness!
Charlie No-nothin' More than 1 year ago
Ill Have Another finished the race harely winded. Bodemeister killed himself duelling with a rabbit. Is two weeks long enough for the loser to recoup his stamina? The Preakness post parade should answer that question. After watching Mike Smith lose the BC for Zenyatta, and watching him allow Bodemeister waste himself, I think Mike himself becomes a big question in the next race.
Edward Suhr More than 1 year ago
cant believe smitty didnt save none for coming home.bode was running like big red at the belmont.or stewart elliots blunder on smarty jones.Id run bode in preaknas and skip belmond.bode almost couldnt hold second in derby at 11/4 do that at belmont he wont hit the board
steve szymanski More than 1 year ago
It doesn't work that way, son. The Pace is different.
Nicholas Carraway More than 1 year ago
If you press "Shift" at the same time, a letter will be capitalized. Also, writing in English may help you get your points across in this forum.
Stuart More than 1 year ago
Why is Bode the favorite after that suicide run? Very nice horse, but he should go to the Belmont Stakes. Shouldn't the winner be the favorite. What is IHA, Mine that Bird? Hard Spun came pretty close to winning the Derby and was still 2nd or 3rd in the M/L. Remember, Bold Forbes ran 45 flat and finished 3rd in the Preakness while winning the other two legs. Hard Spun ran 6f in 1:09 and change and finished third. If Bode runs the same race he did in the Derby he is running for third IMO. They need to ration that speed on the front end. RA wired the Derby, but she was not peddle to the metal like Bode.
Alex Walton More than 1 year ago
RA won the Oaks
Stephen Cecil More than 1 year ago
Baffert will have to perform a miracle to get Bode ready in just 2 weeks after the Mike Smith suicide run.
steve szymanski More than 1 year ago
What you call a suicide run, I call a pretty good tattic. Had Bode chased the speed, he stops to a walk andis nowhere at the end. He had 4 races until the Derby. The two on the lead he won and the two he chased, he lost (and tired). Had this been any race other than the Derby, Bode wins this race on the lead also. Distance killed him. The horse has 5 races in him. Do you reallt think he is tired? Come on. Tired? I want to see him in the Belmont with a 1:12 and change pace. It will be his Derby prep allover again......GALLOPS at 1 1/2 miles.
Nicholas Carraway More than 1 year ago
I would replace "a miracle" with "a spectacular training job." Do I think Bodemeister will win the Preakness? No. Do I think he has a reasonable chance? Yes.
Peter More than 1 year ago
It really wasn't 1 in 153 that the top two from the Kentucky Derby would be I'll Have Another and Bodemeister. The chances were really half that (about 1 in 76) since the top two (the exacta) can come in either order.
Jim Ellickson More than 1 year ago
that's what I thought as well.
Resty Reyes More than 1 year ago
Too much discussion on who is the better horse! Just place your bet
Nicholas Carraway More than 1 year ago
The box here says "Post a new comment," not "Post a new bet."
Jason Young More than 1 year ago
All the favorites are going to lose...... I hope Liaison runs because he should be at a decen t price
Nicholas Carraway More than 1 year ago
There will likely be just one favorite. :-)
Greg Knepper More than 1 year ago
Frank Carulli is correct with Bode being the m/l favorite and his record speaks for itself