LOUISVILLE, Ky. - According to trainer Bob Baffert, Bodemeister is not the kind of horse who flashes his ability gratuitously. If you want to see the best the son of Empire Maker has to offer, you better be prepared to ask for it.
"When he's just galloping, he's sort of lazy," Baffert said. "That's what took me so long to get him to the races is we thought maybe he needs more time. But finally we said, 'We're going to run him,' and then, boom."
The Arkansas Derby winner answered the bell when called upon Sunday, working five furlongs in 59.60 with Kentucky Oaks hopeful Jemima's Pearl at Churchill Downs in his last major move before Saturday's Kentucky Derby.
The muddy surface appeared to be little concern to Bodemeister as the bay colt broke off about four lengths behind his stablemate, quickly got on even terms, and finished about a neck in front. "I'm glad I got the work in," Baffert said.
Bodemeister reeled off splits of: 36.40, and: 48 and galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:12.20.
El Padrino ships Tuesday
Unable to work on Saturday because of weather at Palm Meadows Training Center, Risen Star Stakes winner El Padrino was clocked in: 53.34 for his 4-furlong move Sunday under the watch of trainer Todd Pletcher.
El Padrino, who finished fourth in the Florida Derby, worked in company with stablemate Windsurfer over the muddy surface. Both he and stablemate Gemologist, who also worked a half mile Sunday, are slated to ship to Churchill Downs on Tuesday.
"He's an easy horse to train. He's a laid back kind of guy and just does whatever his workmate does," Pletcher said of El Padrino. "He's had a good five weeks since the Florida Derby."
I'll Have Another at home
In his first visit over the Churchill Downs track since arriving from California on Saturday, I'll Have Another had several onlookers inquiring just who the impressive chestnut streak was going by them Sunday morning.
The winner of the Grade I Santa Anita Derby had the look of a horse aching to do more when he galloped over the muddy one-mile oval under exercise rider Jonny Garcia.
"This was a normal strong gallop for him," trainer Doug O'Neill said with a smile. "He went across the track very sharply. I wouldn't trade places with anybody the way he's training."