I'll Have Another and Bodemeister, winner and runner-up at the Kentucky Derby, took the track for the first time since Saturday's grueling race.
According to a Daily Racing Form report, both look sharp even though they both only jogged around the track once accompanied by a pony. At this point the purpose of such exercise is to give the horses a chance to stretch their legs.
I'll Have Another, with exercise rider Johnny Garcia aboard, jogged a mile on a muddy main track at Pimlico Race Course at 8:30 a.m., immediately after the renovation break, under the supervision of Doug O'Neill's assistant trainer Jack Sisterson.
Sisterson had been charged with overseeing I'll Have Another's trip from Louisville to Baltimore on Monday and was pleased with the colt's exercise. From bloodhorse.com:
He got over the ground really well, his ears were pricked and he was full of energy. His energy level is fantastic, something we want to see his first time back on the track. You wouldn't want to see him with his head down going along there.
Trainer Doug O'Neill arrived in Baltimore from Southern California later on Wednesday to head I'll Have Another's preparations.
Meanwhile at Churchill Downs, Bodemeister impressed trainer Bob Baffert in his first day on the track and appears to have taken a step forward towards his possible participation at the May 19 Preakness Stakes.
According to the report, after the jog was over, Baffert texted owner Ahmed Zayat, “Bode super-sharp on track today...Amazing horse.”
Even though these were great initial signs, Baffert is not ready to make a decision until the weekend, and Zayat has mixed emotions about running Bodemeister just two weeks after his taxing effort in the Derby, according to the report.
It makes perfect sense.
While Bodemeister could have an open shot towards an easy lead on the Preakness, this would be his sixth start of the year and his third in a five-week span. Whichever is the decision, we will know possibly as soon as this weekend.
Wednesday was a busy day when almost all the Preakness prospects took the track one way or another, either to jog, breeze or workout.
At the moment as many as 17 horses are under consideration for the Preakness, but the field is limited to 14 starters. The first seven are determined by graded stakes earnings; the next four by open stakes earnings; the next three by total earnings.
For that reason two horses hoping to make the Preakness field, Teeth of the Dog, who finished third in the Wood Memorial, and the New York-bred stakes winner Zetterholm were both entered in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park.