CLEVELAND - I'll Have Another shipped to Baltimore for preparation of the Preakness Stakes the day after winning the Kentucky Derby. He has not had a workout since winning that race, but has been galloping each morning at the track.
First time Derby winning jockey Mario Gutierrez has never ridden the Pimlico course, but has been at the facility this week getting acquainted with the deep dirt track.
Bodemeister, who ran second in the Kentucky Derby, clocked some of the fastest speed fractions in the opening half-mile, but while making a bid for the finish line I'll Have Another caught him in the stretch and won by 1-1/2 lengths.
The Preakness allows 14 horses total to be entered in the race, but we will see a field of 11 contenders come post time.
Here is the line up from the inside post out:
1. Tiger Walk Odds 30/1- Jockey Kent Desormeaux - Trainer Ignacio Correas Took third in the Withers G-3 back in February and two 4th place finishes in the Gotham (March) and the Wood Memorial in April on a fast track. Not likely here.
2. Teeth of the Dog Odds 15/1 - Jockey Joe Bravo - Trainer Michael Matz Ran third in the Wood Memorial, and passed on the Kentucky Derby. Look for him to be running within the pace.
3. Pretension Odds 30/1 - Jockey Santiago - Trainer Christopher Grove Won his last race on the Pimlico track in the Canonero II Stakes, but his speed fractions are slow.
4. Zetterholm Odds 20/1 - Jockey J. Alvarado - Trainer Richard Dutrow He makes his way to the Pimlico course coming off of three straight Aqueduct wins. He passed on the Derby but has stalking ability. My concern is that his speed is relatively slow compared to other competitors in this field.
5. Went the Day Well Odds 6/1 - Jockey John Velazquez - Trainer Graham Motion Last year's Kentucky Derby winning team Graham Motion and Johnny Velazquez are at it again. You can't discount the efforts made in the stretch of this year's Derby closing from 17th to 4th just behind Dullahan. He took first in the Spiral in March. Look out for him.
6. Creative Cause Odds 6/1 - Jockey Joel Rosario - Trainer Mike Harrington Took fifth in the Kentucky Derby, but only lost the Santa Anita Derby by a nose behind I'll Have Another. His Beyer ratings are high and I would not discount him in a superfecta.
7. Bodemeister Odds 8/5 - Jockey Mike Smith - Bob Baffert I'm expecting this Kentucky Derby pace setter to be running like crazy again in the Preakness. He took first in the Arkansas Derby in April and second in the San Felipe behind Creative Cause in March. He's out for revenge after his loss to I'll Have Another just two weeks ago in Kentucky. He'll be getting a lot of attention from the handicappers and I can see why.
8. Daddy Nose Best Odds 12/1 - Jockey J. Leparoux - Trainer Steve Asmussen Finished 10th in the Kentucky Derby but had a first place finish in the Sunland Derby in March. He'll be stalking the pace but doubtful he'll be able to get past the others that he ran against in the Derby.
9. I'll Have Another Odds 5/2 - Jockey Mario Getierrez - Trainer Doug O'Neill Took first in the Kentucky Derby, the Santa Anita and the Robert B. Lewis. His speed ratings are impressive and he'll have to keep close to the pace and not let Bodemeister get to far out in front of him!! Hopefully another Derby repeat performance here. He'll have to pace himself appropriately coming off the last turn to the finish line. He should like having all the breaking speed to the inside left of him again!
10. Optimizer Odds 30/1 - Jockey C. Nakatani - Trainer D. Wayne Lukas Took an 11th place finish in the Derby and has not yet won at 1-1/8 miles. He does have the ability to come off the pace and took 2nd in the Rebel in March. Not likely.
11. Cozzetti Odds 30/1 - Jockey Jose Lezcano - Trainer Dale Romans Skipped the Derby and had a fourth place finish in the Arkansas Derby. He doesn't have any stakes races to his credit and is without a win at 1 1/8 miles. Unlikely.
With the Pimlico race track favoring speed, tomorrow's race should be extremely exciting. Bodemeister was capable of breaking from the gates early in the Kentucky Derby and almost won with a wire-to-wire win! Traditionally horses making the pace fade, but Bodemeister was able to hold on until I'll Have Another's late surge threatened him. There is a real rivalry going on between these two horses and the biggest question is, Can I Have Another do it again? I hope so!!
The Preakness Stakes, Grade 1 race at 1 3/16 miles has a post time of 6:45pm.
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