Bodemeister led the way for almost the entire Kentucky Derby before the win was snatched away by I'll Have Another just before the end. Bob Baffert's horse will enter the Preakness Stakes this weekend and, based on his performance at the Derby, he could be the only thing standing in the way of I'll Have Another's Triple Crown run.
The Derby winner showed a great closing burst at Churchill Downs, coming from far behind to overtake Bodemeister on the home stretch. At the shorter, nine-and-a-half furlong track at Pimlico during the Preakness, I'll Have Another might not have the room to make a hard charge at the end.
Baffert's latest top colt will now have to play the role of spoiler for I'll Have Another's dream of a Triple Crown. Given the Derby winner's ability late in a race, the longer track at Belmont—the final race in the Triple Crown—is ideally suited to his strengths. That means the Preakness will be Bodemeister's best chance to knock him off.
I'll Have Another has won three straight races and will be looking for a fourth this weekend at the Preakness. But Bodemeister scored his biggest win at the 2012 Arkansas Derby, which was a nine-and-a-half furlong race, the same distance as the track at Pimlico.
It's pretty clear that 25-year-old jockey Mario Gutierrez and trainer Douglas O'Neill will have to change tactics of they want I'll Have Another to win the Preakness. He won't be able to hang back and charge late like he did at the Kentucky Derby.
If they can't figure out a way to get more from I'll Have Another sooner, Bodemeister will likely ruin any chance for a Triple Crown run this year.