04/08/2012 5:02PM

Santa Anita: Bodemeister tunes up for Arkansas Derby

Benoit & Associates
Drill (left) will run in the Northern Spur at Oaklawn rather than the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland this weekend.

There will be Southern California-based runners in two major Kentucky Derby preps in Arkansas and Kentucky this weekend.

The Bob Baffert-trained Bodemeister will be ridden by Mike Smith in Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby. Sunday at Santa Anita, Bodemeister, second to Creative Cause in the San Felipe, worked five furlongs in 1:00.40.

“He just cruised around there,” Baffert said.

Baffert will also start Secret Circle, the winner of the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 17, in the Arkansas Derby.

Drill, the winner of the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita over seven furlongs in February, will start in Saturday’s $100,000 Northern Spur Stakes over a mile at Oaklawn Park, Baffert said. The Hall of Fame trainer had considered Saturday’s $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes over 1 1/8 miles at Keeneland for Drill, but has opted for the shorter race.

Baffert said he has no plans for Drill beyond that race.

“I’ll have to think about it,” he said.

Drill has $300,000 in graded stakes earnings, which should be sufficient to gain a spot in the Kentucky Derby, if that race is chosen.

Drill has never won beyond seven furlongs, including a 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs last November.

The maiden winner Holy Candy worked six furlongs in 1:13.40 on Sunday.

He was scratched from Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby in favor of the Blue Grass Stakes.

Edward Kelly More than 1 year ago
There is talent in this race so I don't know how you see an easy race for Bodemeister. He is not worth a wager at anything below 3-1, a favorite yes, but not a surprise if he loses. Optimizer was flying down the track with a real sustained 3f run in the 500k Rebel. I am most interested to see where the 2nd place finisher from Sunland finishes so that Daddy Nose best can be assessed because he looked good in that race. I'll have another is the best horse from SA. He ran the clear best race at 1 1/16 at SA in the Lewis and then ran the best race at 1 1/8th. Not sure how the CC gets validated by Bodemeister today considering he has lost the other two races.
OwenJ More than 1 year ago
Bodemeister's performance in the Arkansas Derby will give an indication of how good is Creative Cause. One thing's for sure: Bodemeister will get a greast rider in Mike Smith.
paul cervenan More than 1 year ago
No better observance of a real race rider was more evident than Wednesday at Oaklawn Park on Momma Kimbo.
mace More than 1 year ago
I am glad they have Smith to ride Bodemeister before the KD,because I expect a 1st or 2nd finish in the Arkansas Derby.It is better to try Smith in the prep especially one where I think he is a couple of lengths better on paper than the others.