Pros: Bodemeister won the Arkansas Derby in wire-to-wire fashion by 9 ½ lengths over second place finisher Secret Circle. He’s trained by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert who won the 1997 Kentucky Derby with Silver Charm, won the 1988 edition with Real Quiet, and won the 2002 Derby with War Emblem. Bodemeister is a speedy young colt who’s earned three consecutive Brisnet speed figures over 100, including a 105 in the Arkansas Derby.
Cons: Bodemeister did not run as a two-year-old and no horse has won the Kentucky Derby without a start at age 2 since Apollo in 1882. Owner Zayat Stables seems to have the curse of seconditis. Zayat’s Nehro finished second in last year’s Kentucky Derby and Pioneerof The Nile finished second in 2009. In 2010, Zayat owned the early Derby favorite, Eskendereya, who missed the Derby due to an injury. Unless Bodemeister can go wire-to-wire, his intense speed and early running style sets the race up for a closer.
Fun Fact: Bodemeister is named after Bob Baffert’s eight-year-old son Bode, who is named after Olympic skier Bode Miller.
Analysis: Bodemeister may well go on to be a champion, but I can’t back him to win the Kentucky Derby. He certainly has the raw talent and speed, but his inexperience, especially against a field of 19 others, is asking a lot. I expect Bodemeister and Trinniberg to duel for the lead and tire each other out. Bodemeister should be able to get the distance and will likely be able to hang on longer than Trinniberg. Bodemeister is definitely one to include in your exotics, but I just don’t think he’s ready to conquer a field like this.
Photo: Louisville Magazine/Nicholas Karem