HRI STAFF EDIT — Bodexpress, a belated yet popular maiden winner in his most recent start, could find himself back in against stakes company with another strong performance Wednesday, Nov. 20 at Gulfstream Park West.
The sophomore son of Bodemeister, based at Gulfstream West with trainer Gustavo Delgado, drew Post 6 in a field of eight in Race 7, a $45,000 allowance for 3-year-olds and up going one mile on the main track.
Unraced since the May 18 Preakness Stakes (G1), where he reared at the start and unseated Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez, Bodexpress broke his maiden with a front-running three-length triumph as the 1-9 favorite Oct. 14 at Gulfstream West, also against his elders.
Since then, Bodexpress has worked twice at Gulfstream West, most recently going six furlongs in 1:13 Nov. 8. Emisael Jaramillo, up for the maiden victory, gets the return call.
“The horse is doing very well and [we’re] going step by step with him,” assistant trainer Gustavo Delgado Jr. told Claudia Spadaro of Hipica TV, Gulfstream Park’s Spanish broadcast channel. “If he runs well, [we] might aim to run him in the Harlan’s Holiday.”
The $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday (G3) for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles will be run Dec. 14 on the third Saturday of Gulfstream Park’s 2019-2020 Championship Meet, which opens Friday, Nov. 29.
Bodexpress ran second in the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) March 30 at Gulfstream Park behind Maximum Security, who went on to finish first in the Kentucky Derby (G1) only to be controversially disqualified. More than three lengths behind Bodexpress was Code of Honor, who went on to be third and placed second in Kentucky.
Maximum Security would later win the Haskell (G1) at Monmouth Park and Bold Ruler Handicap (G3) at Belmont Park, while Code of Honor registered consecutive victories in the Dwyer (G3), Travers (G1) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) before a disappointing run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.
His strong performance in the Florida Derby earned Bodexpress a berth in the Kentucky Derby, where he finished 14th of 19 after being taken up in traffic on the turn into the homestretch. His connections gave him a break following the race, sending him to one of the owners’ farms in Ocala, Fla.
Capped by the Florida Derby, Bodexpress ran second in three of his first five races including a neck maiden special weight loss Feb. 16 to Shancelot, who went on to win the Amsterdam (G2) and finish second as the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) Nov. 2.