Bodemeister should be a legend.
In the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, the thoroughbred was in position to pull off a pair of dominant triumphs. Instead, I’ll Have Another snatched the victories right out of Bob Baffert and company’s hands.
Jeff Barker and Don Markus of The Baltimore Sun reported that Baffert said after the Preakness: “I usually win those. I don't know what happened here.”
No one else ever will either.
Bodemeister is a tremendously gifted horse. It just so happens that I’ll Have Another possesses that special "it" factor which gave him the slight edge in each race. Because of that, Bodemeister will be forgotten, as will his immense talent—and that’s a shame.
The horse’s Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith said after his second straight loss (via The Baltimore Sun): “I think we ran a brilliant race. I don't understand how we got beat. I'm still dumbfounded. I really am.”
According to Ed McNamara of Newsday, Smith continued saying: “I never rode a horse that gave me as much as he did and still got beat.”
That quote says it all.
The 46-year-old jockey has 5,000 career wins to his name. He’s ridden a countless amount of horses over the course of his career. And out of all those horses, the fact that he singled out Bodemeister like that simply reaffirms the thoroughbred’s elite physical ability.
He should be entering the 2012 Belmont Stakes talking Triple Crown. I’ll Have Another has plenty of doubters, but unlike the champ, Bodemeister was expected to finish in the winner’s circle. He would be a heavy favorite going into the Triple Crown’s third leg, and anything but a win would be a shocker.
The Triple Crown had his name written all over it. But I’ll Have Another erased it and Bodemeister from history.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.