All it took was just one look. Citing his good looks, the health of his coat, and his healthy appetite, trainer Bob Baffert made the decision that many were hoping for this morning by saying yes to the Preakness for Zayat Stable’s prize sophomore colt, Bodemeister.
“I see no reason not to take him (to Baltimore for Saturday’s Preakness),” said Baffert.
This morning was the first chance the multiple Preakness winning trainer had to see the son of Empire Maker since the morning after his strong second place in the Derby. With exercise rider George Alvarez in the irons, Bodemeister turned in a 1 ½ mile gallop over a muddy Churchill Downs’ oval that clearly pleased his camp.
Owner Ahmed Zayat did not attempt to check his emotions this morning, saying “All went perfect as planned. Very happy and healthy colt, Go Bode Go!!”
While the news was good for his connections, as well as his many fans, the addition of the colt who threw down some of the fastest early fractions ever seen in the Derby, was not as welcome to some.
It did not take long for the trainer of Hansen to announce their colt’s plans … and it does not include the Preakness. Mike Maker said Monday that the 2011 Juvenile Champion Hansen would not be running in Saturday’s big race at Pimlico.
“He is not going,” Maker said of the ninth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby. “That would be coming back a little quick.”
While Maker did not mention Bodemeister, it would be easy to imagine the decision being different if the romping winner of the Arkansas Derby had decided to skip the Middle Jewel.
Maker indicated that Hansen likely would be pointed to the Grade 2 Woody Stephens at seven furlongs as part the Belmont Stakes undercard on June 9.
With Hansen out, and the wise decision earlier from Team Trinniberg that their speedy colt would not run, the question remains … who is going to run with Bodemeister now? Something tells me I'll Have Another’s task just became a whole lot tougher.