Bodemeister (right): Kentucky front-runner given green light for PreaknessPICTURE: Matt Wooley/EquiSport Photos
Bodemeister given Preakness go-ahead
USA: Kentucky Derby runner-up Bodemeister has been given the go-ahead to bid for revenge against his Churchill Downs conqueror I'll Have Another in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday.
The Bob Baffert-trained colt provided much of the excitement with a blistering performance in Kentucky, where he set sizzling fractions before being run down close home for a length-and-a-half defeat.
Baffert wanted to wait and see how Bodemeister's Derby exertions had affected himbefore heading to the second leg of the Triple Crown at Pimlico in Baltimore.
"I was afraid he was going to go into hibernation for about three days, go into the corner of the stall with his ears pinned," Baffert said, speaking to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
"He's a pretty tough, amazing animal. His hair looks good. His weight looks good. Right now I don't see any reason not to take him. We'll see what happens in the next leg."
Baffert gave the green light after runaway Arkansas Derby winner Bodemeister had galloped at Churchill Downs on Monday morning.
The Preakness Stakes is run over a half-furlong shorter than the Kentucky Derby. The final leg of the US Triple Crown is the Belmont Stakes over 1m4f in New York on June 9.
As well as I'll Have Another and Bodemeister, the Preakness will also feature Went The Day Well and Creative Cause, fourth and fifth at Churchill Downs.
Baffert may also run Kentucky Derby sixth Liaison but Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Hansen has been ruled out.
"Not in his best interest to run back on two weeks or to run over nine furlongs at this time," said owner Kendall Hansen.