Kentucky Derby runner-up Bodemeister was installed as the morning-line favorite ahead of winner I’ll Have Another in the 11-horse field for the 137th Preakness Stakes, the second leg of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown.
Bodemeister, trained by five-time Preakness winner Bob Baffert and running from the seventh post position, was given 8-5 odds for the 1 3/16 miles race on May 19 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, according to handicapper Frank Carulli.
“It’s a good post,” Baffert said yesterday. “Anything in the middle would have been fine. In the Preakness, you just don’t want to be stuck down the inside where you have to use your horse a little bit.”
I’ll Have Another, trained by Doug O’Neill and given the No. 9 post position, was second at 5-2. H. Graham Motion’s Went The Day Well out of gate five and Mike Harrington’s Creative Cause, running from the sixth post position, were co-third picks at 6-1 after running fourth and fifth respectively in the Derby.
“I love the post,” O’Neill said in a televised interview. “We won from the 19th so we have this nine thing going.”
A victory by I’ll Have Another, the first horse to win the Derby from the 19th post position, would make the 3-year-old colt the 33rd horse to be eligible to win the Triple Crown entering the Belmont Stakes. Only 11 horses have succeeded, the last being Affirmed in 1978.
“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,” O’Neill said. “If anything, Bodemeister might be behind us early. I could see him chasing us, I really could.”
Asked about Bodemeister being the morning-line favorite, O’Neill noted that he has never run a horse at Pimlico, while Baffert has five Preakness winners.
“I’m just hoping that anyone who bets Bodemeister is regretting it Saturday night,” O’Neill said.
PP Horse Jockey Trainer Odds 1 Tiger Walk Kent Desormeaux Ignacio Correas IV 30-1 2 Teeth Of The Dog Joe Bravo Michael Matz 15-1 3 Pretension Javier Santiago Chris Grove 30-1 4 Zetterholm Junior Alvarado Richard Dutrow Jr. 20-1 5 Went The Day Well John Velazquez H. Graham Motion 6-1 6 Creative Cause Joel Rosario Mike Harrington 6-1 7 Bodemeister Mike Smith Bob Baffert 8-5 8 Daddy Nose Best Julien Leparoux Steve Asmussen 12-1 9 I’ll Have Another Mario Gutierrez Doug O’Neill 5-2 10 Optimizer Corey Nakatani D. Wayne Lukas 30-1 11 Cozzetti Jose Lezcano Dale Romans 30-1