After a disappointing showing at the Kentucky Derby, Bodemeister will win the last two legs of the Triple Crown. You can count on that.
Bodemeister faltered down the stretch, as the unheralded horse I'll Have Another was able to capitalize on a tired Bodemeister and steal a victory.
Jockey Mike Smith will be looking for revenge two weekends from now at the Preakness Stakes, and he will not be denied a victory at Pimlico.
The Preakness is one-sixteenth of a mile shorter than the Kentucky Derby. It was during that last 330 feet that I'll Have Another made up just enough ground to inch out a win.
The Belmont is one-and-a-half miles long and will be run on June 9. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that Smith will be more conservative in that race and not push his horse so hard right out of the gate. Smith is known to be a good judge of the horses he rides, and that's not surprising seeing as he's been riding horses since the age of 11.
Of course, I'll Have Another will have the support of the fans in Baltimore on May 19, but let's be real here, there's no such thing as a crowd advantage in thoroughbred racing. Yes, jockeys may be considered athletes, but their adrenaline cannot be transferred to the horse.
There is no increased motivation for the horse when it has the crowd's backing. And for those who think otherwise—it's a horse. It doesn't think like a human being. It doesn't realize what the stakes are. All the horse knows is that it needs to run when the jockey tells it to.
That doesn't put Bodemeister at a disadvantage, but it doesn't give I'll Have Another the edge like a Game 1 victory in the NBA playoffs gives to the winning team.
Bodemeister came into the 2012 Kentucky Derby as a 4-to-1 favorite, as most experts believed he was good enough to make history and win the first Triple Crown since 1978.
That obviously won't happen, but Bob Baffert's colt still has a chance to make a name for himself.
The sprinter's speed that Bodemeister possesses was unmatched for the majority of the one-and-a-quarter-mile race, but it seemed that Smith pushed his horse too far, resulting in a lackluster finish for the three-year-old horse.
At one point, Bodemeister had a five-length lead over the nearest horse, Trinniberg, another horse that boasts exceptional speed.
If Bodemeister had been able to continue pulling away from the rest of the field, we'd be looking at a victory akin to the horse's multiple-length victory at the 2012 Arkansas Derby.
Bodemeister will be labeled as the favorite in the days leading up to the 2012 Preakness Stakes, and rightfully so. He'll be as safe a bet as any to finish at the top of the field in the next two races.