Maryland Jockey Club linemaker Frank Carulli installed Bodemeister, the runner-up to I’ll Have Another in the Kentucky Derby (G1), as the 8-5 morning-line favorite for Preakness 137. I’ll Have Another, who captured the Run for the Roses by 1 ½ lengths over the pacesetting Bodemeister, was rated second at 5-2 in the 11-horse field that will contest the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.
I’ll Have Another, who has won all three of his races this year, is trainer Doug O’Neill’s first Preakness entrant. The son of Flower Alley, who became the first horse to win the Derby from the No. 19 post, will be ridden by Preakness rookie Mario Gutierrez.
The Derby winner drew the No. 9 post position, two stalls outside Bodemeister, who will break from the starting gate from No. 7.
Went the Day Well and Creative Cause, who finished fourth and fifth in the Kentucky Derby, respectively, were both rated at 6-1
BODEMEISTER (PP #7, 8-5)
Trainer Bob Baffert: “I think it’s a good post. With him, anything in the middle would have been fine. In the Preakness you just don’t want to be stuck down on the inside, where you have to use your horse a little bit.
“The Derby winner drew well also. Everybody is in a good post.”
I’LL HAVE ANOTHER (PP #9, 5-2)
Trainer Doug O’Neill: “I thought the draw was really good. I’m very happy with that. Being outside of the legitimate speed, most jockeys would be real happy with that. We’re OK with that.
“It’s in (Bodemeister’s jockey) Mike Smith’s hands to set the pace. For whatever reason if he breaks slow or decides not to go, we’ll take the lead and take it from there.
“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. If anything, Bodemeister might be behind us early. I could see him chasing us, I really could.”
(On Bodemeister being the morning-line favorite) “Bob Baffert has won five of these; I’ve never run a horse here. I totally respect that. I’m just hoping that anyone who bets Bodemeister is regretting it Saturday night.”
WENT THE DAY WELL (PP #5, 6-1)
Managing partner Barry Irwin: “I think it’s good. I didn’t want to be on the rail. It’s too claustrophobic for him. This is a green horse. He hasn’t run too many times, and we didn’t want to have an outside post if we could avoid it, because he’d have veered off to the right. Being in the middle, hopefully it’ll be better.
“This horse, I think he could have won the Derby if he had broken right, but he didn’t. Once he broke bad, he caused himself a whole bunch of trouble. We have to make sure the horse gets out of the gate this time. If he does, I think we’ve got a good shot.
“This horse has an enormous amount of ability. He can really run. I think everybody saw it there, and hopefully we’ll see it again.”
CREATIVE CAUSE (PP # 6, 6-1)
Trainer Mike Harrington: “It’s fine, right in the middle. It doesn’t make a whole lot of difference to me. It’s a good post; that’s all I know.”
DADDY NOSE BEST (PP #8, 12-1) – Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen: “I like our draw. This is more like a horse race, not an event, so I like where we’re at.
“He came out of the Derby great, or we wouldn’t be here. We thought he trained super into the Derby, and he deserves another chance off of what he’s done.
“No excuses last time; it just wasn’t our day. We’re very proud of the position he’s put himself in, and we’re looking forward to giving him another chance.”
TEETH OF THE DOG (PP #2, 15-1)
Owner Jose Singer: “It’s a long stretch at Pimlico, so I’m OK with post position 2. I want to win. We went into the race thinking that perhaps the two top finishers in the Derby might be off the edge a little bit and bounce a little bit. I’ve got a lightly raced horse that is fresh and I’m hoping he comes in to collect the spoils.”
ZETTERHOLM (PP #4, 20-1)
Breeder/principal owner Anthony Grey: “I’m OK with the post position draw. I’m glad I wasn’t on the rail.
“I want to win a big one. He’s a late April foal, so he’s a late-maturing horse. He’s a stretch-running horse. Hopefully, it’s our turn to shine.”
TIGER WALK (PP #1, 30-1)
Trainer Ignacio Correas: “Somebody had to start from the rail, and it looks like it’s going to be us. I just read that 15 percent won from there. Most likely, Bodemeister is going to set the pace, and somebody is going to be out there, but it’s not going to be us. That’s not our style.”
PRETENSION (PP #3, 30-1
Trainer Chris Grove: “I don’t think the post position will matter to him. It only matters if there’s a problem and they’re not standing well and don’t break well. With 11 instead of 20 in this race, I think it will shape up differently. I won’t be too far back as the race shapes up.”
OPTIMIZER (PP #10, 30-1)
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas: “It’s great. I really like it. For the first time in about four years, I really like it. I’m very comfortable with that spot. Bodemeister, Daddy Nose Best and I’ll Have Another are all going to tighten up. I’m sitting out there and absolutely love it.”
COZZETTI (PP #11, 30-1)
Trainer Dale Romans: “I think it’s a good spot for him. We can let things materialize inside of him and figure out where we want him to be placed.”