03/29/2012 3:42PM

Santa Anita: Bodemeister looks headed to Arkansas Derby instead of Santa Anita Derby


ARCADIA, Calif. – Bodemeister, the runner-up in the San Felipe Stakes on March 10, will make his next start in the $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on April 14, Jimmy Barnes, trainer Bob Baffert’s assistant said on Thursday.

Bodemeister was being considered for the Arkansas Derby or the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 7 before the decision was made to send the colt to Oaklawn Park. In recent days, Barnes has been in regular contact with Baffert, who is in Dubai for Saturday’s Dubai World Cup.

“It looks like that’s the way we’re going,” Barnes said of Bodemeister’s plans.

Even without Bodemeister, Baffert will still have three starters in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, which is run over 1 1/8 miles. He will start Blueskiesnrainbows, who was third in an optional claimer over a mile on Feb. 9 in his last start; Liaison, fourth in the San Felipe; and Paynter, the winner of a maiden race over 5 1/2 furlongs in his lone start on Feb. 18.

The Santa Anita Derby field is led by Creative Cause, the winner of the San Felipe Stakes. Other probable starters are Baby Blake, Brother Francis, I’ll Have Another, Longview Drive, Midnight Transfer and possibly Senor Rain.

Baffert will have two runners in the Arkansas Derby, including Secret Circle, the winner of the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 17.

For the $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 14, Baffert will start Drill, the winner of the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes over seven furlongs in February. Drill worked a mile in 1:38 at Santa Anita on Thursday.