Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert has won the Preakness Stakes (G1) five times and he has good chance to pick up another win today when he sends the talented Empire Maker colt Bodemeister to the starting gate as the 8-5 morning line favorite in the 137th running of the prestigious $1,000,000 graded stakes race.
Bodemeister was my favorite to win the Kentucky Derby (G1) and I like him in today’s race too. I also like the other horses that I profiled for the Derby – I’ll Have Another (5-2), Creative Cause (6-1), Went The Day Well (6-1) – and I expect them to finish in the top four.
Except for Creative Cause, I think that any of those horses could win the Preakness and I don’t see any newcomers to the trail being a factor. Creative Cause is a tough competitor and he always puts forth his best effort but I think he would have to run a career-best race in order to win.
Since his maiden debut in January, I thought that Bodemiester had the potential to be a classic champion and the Preakness may be the best shot for him to win a classic race.
Bodemeister, I’ll Have Another and Went The Day Well are sire-line descendants of Mr. Prospector and since 1990 that line has dominated the Triple Crown and produced 11 Preakness Stakes winners: Lookin At Lucky (2010), Curlin (2007), Afleet Alex (2005), Smarty Jones (2004), Funny Cide (2003), War Emblem (2002), Point Given (2001), Red Bullet (2000), Real Quiet (1998), Timber Country (1995) and Hansel (1991).
If I’ll Have Another wins, I’ll be happy, too, as that will bring us closer to the potential for a Triple Crown winner – after a 34-year drought. I’ll also be especially happy for the young jockey Mario Gutierrez who won the Kentucky Derby on his first try and could, perhaps, win the Triple Crown.
Now that’s quite a story.
A horse that really intrigues me from this talented group is Went The Day Well and if I had structured my Derby superfecta ticket a little differently I’d be $96,000 richer today.
While Bodemeister and I’ll Have Another are near top form, I think that Went The Day Well still has room for improvement and I’m looking forward to see how well he progresses as a 3-year-old.
And you can’t find a better ambassador for the “sport of Kings” than his trainer Graham Motion.
Good luck today and have fun.