USA: Bodemeister favourite for Preakness
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By Nicholas Godfrey
USA: Kentucky Derby runner-up Bodemeister has been made morning-line favourite in the States to exact revenge on Churchill Downs conqueror I’ll Have Another in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore.
Pimlico odds compiler Frank Carulli makes Bodemeister his 8-5 market leader after the Bob Baffert-trained colt was drawn in gate seven of an 11-runner field for the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Derby winner I’ll Have Another, a 5-2 chance on the indicative morning line, is unbeaten in three this year. He starts from gate nine as he bids to confirm the form of his length-and-a-half victory at Churchill Downs.
“I thought the draw was really good,” said trainer Doug O’Neill.”I’m very happy with that. Being outside of the legitimate speed, most jockeys would be real happy with that.”
Mike Smith and Bodemeister set sharp fractions in the Kentucky Derby before faltering close home; the Preakness is a half-furlong shorter.
“It’s in Mike Smith’s hands to set the pace,” added O’Neill. “For whatever reason if he breaks slow or decides not to go, we’ll take the lead and take it from there.
“I’m confident. You never know, but as long as we continue to train like our horse has trained, we won’t be that far off Bodemeister. If anything, Bodemeister might be behind us early. I could see him chasing us, I really could.”
Baffert, who is chasing his sixth Preakness victory, was happy with Bodemeister’s draw. “I think it’s a good post,” he said.
“With him, anything in the middle would have been fine. In the Preakness you just don’t want to bestuck down on the inside, where you have to use your horse a little bit. The Derby winner drew well also. Everybody is in a good post.”
Also returning from the Kentucky Derby are Went The Day Well and Creative Cause, fourth and fifth respectively, plus Daddy Nose Best (tenth) and Optimizer (11th).
Preakness Stakes post-position draw
- Tiger Walk Kent Desormeaux 30-1
- Teeth Of The Dog Joe Bravo 15-1
- Pretension Javier Santiago 30-1
- Zetterholm Junior Alvarado 20-1
- Went The Day Well John Velazquez 6-1
- Creative Cause Joel Rosario 6-1
- Bodemeister Mike Smith 8-5f
- Daddy Nose Best Julien Leparoux 12-1
- I’ll Have Another Martin Gutierrez 5-2
- Optimizer Corey Nakatani 30-1
- Cozzetti Jose Lezcano 30-1
View the original article at the Racing Post