Racing News

Bodemeister Works Five Furlongs; Liaison a Go for Derby 138

| Churchill Downs | 04/24/2012 #
  • Bodemeister breezed under Martin Garcia on Tuesday at Churchill Downs. Credit: Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography

  • Liaison galloped on his first morning at Churchill Downs. Credit: Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography

  • Prospective galloped under Juan Bernardini on Tuesday morning. Credit: Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography

Zayat Stables LLC’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) contender Bodemeister, working in company with stablemate and Kentucky Oaks (GI) candidate Jemima’s Pearl, worked five furlongs in 1:00.80, the third fastest of 23 at the distance on a clear, brisk Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs.

Working after the morning renovation break in the time reserved for Kentucky Derby and Oaks contenders, Jemima’s Pearl started about four lengths in front under Shaun Bridgmohan for the drill that began at the 4 ½-furlong pole. Bodemeister, with Martin Garcia up, halved the margin by the quarter pole and the two finished on even terms at the 7 ½-furlong pole.

Fractions for Bodemeister were :12.80, :25, :36.80, :48.80 with a six-furlong gallop-out time of 1:13.

“I liked the way he went this morning,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “He likes this track. He just skipped over it. He is very fluid when he picks it up and just floats over the ground.”

Mike Smith, who was aboard Bodemeister for his 9 ½-length romp in the Arkansas Derby (GI), has the Kentucky Derby riding assignment.

As Bodemeister finished his work, Arnold Zetcher’s Liaison made his first appearance on the track and galloped 1 ½ miles under George Alvarez. Liaison had arrived at Churchill Downs on Monday afternoon from his Southern California base.

“I’m gonna run him (in the Derby),” Baffert said. “He was a different horse out there today. He was never comfortable at Santa Anita and just didn’t like the track.”

Baffert said that Garcia, who was aboard Liaison for his fourth-place finish in the San Felipe (GII), would have the mount in the Derby.      

DADDY NOSE BEST / ISN’T HE CLEVER / SABERCAT – The Steve Asmussen-trained trio of Bob and Cathy ZollarsDaddy Nose Best, J. Kirk and Judy Robison’s Isn’t He Clever and Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC’s Sabercat walked the shedrow Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs and all came out of their Monday workouts in good order, according to assistant trainer Scott Blasi.

DULLAHAN Donegal Racing’s Dullahan, galloped 1 ½ miles around the Churchill Downs oval Tuesday morning after the renovation break under regular exercise rider Faustino Aguilar. The chestnut son of Even the Score, a half- brother to 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, captured the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (GI) in his most recent start.

HANSEN – Kendall Hansen and Skychai Racing’s Hansen, the 2-year-old champion of 2011, galloped 1 ½ miles under Joel Barrientos at the Trackside Training Center early Tuesday morning.

The Mike Maker-trained colt is scheduled to work Saturday.

MARK VALESKI – Brereton Jones’ Mark Valeski walked the shedrow at Barn 35, a day after working five furlongs in :59.60 under jockey Rosie Napravnik.

“He came out of the work fine,” trainer Larry Jones said.

Mark Valeski is scheduled for his final Derby work next Monday.

Brereton Jones also owns Believe You Can, a leading candidate for the Kentucky Oaks. No owner has completed an Oaks-Derby double since Calumet Farm in 1952 with Real Delight and Hill Gail and the feat has been accomplished only two other times.           

OPTIMIZER – Bluegrass Hall, LLC’s Optimizer walked the shedrow at trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ barn a day after working a half-mile in :48.60 under Jon Court.

PROSPECTIVE John Oxley’s Prospective, winner of the Tampa Bay Derby (GII) prior to finishing sixth in the Toyota Blue Grass (GI) over Keeneland’s Polytrack, galloped 1 ½ miles at Churchill Downs after the renovation break under regular exercise rider Juan Bernardini. The Mark Casse-trained son of Malibu Moon is scheduled to work Saturday at the Louisville track during the special Kentucky Derby-Kentucky Oaks training period immediately following the renovation break.

BARN TALK – Dede McGehee’s St. John’s River, winner of last year’s Delaware Oaks (GII) and second behind Plum Pretty in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (GI), is scheduled to breeze a half-mile from the gate Wednesday at approximately 9 a.m. in preparation for the $300,000-added La Troienne Presented by Steelcase and ORI (GII) on the Kentucky Oaks Day undercard. Trainer Andrew Leggio Jr. said jockey Rosie Napravnik will be aboard for the work. 

WORK TAB – Glen Hill Farm’s Marketing Mix, winner of the Mrs. Revere (GII) at Churchill Downs last fall, breezed four furlongs in :49.60 around the dogs on the firm Matt Winn Turf Course. The Tom Proctor-trained 4-year-old filly is being pointed to the $200,000-added Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Presented by American Commercial Lines (GII) on Kentucky Derby Day.

Also working toward the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile on Tuesday was Frank Jones Jr.’s Tapitsfly. The 5-year-old gray daughter of Tapit breezed four furlongs in :52.60 for trainer Dale Romans. Romans also sent out recent Transylvania (GIII) winner Silver Max and Donegal Racing’s Finnegans Wake to breeze on the turf. Mark Bacon and Dana Wells’ Silver Max covered four furlongs in :49 and Finnegans Wake worked five furlongs in 1:03. Both colts are being pointed to the $200,000-added American Turf Presented by RAM (GII) on the Kentucky Oaks Day undercard.

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 5, 2012, and its Spring Meet is scheduled for April 28-July 1. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record eight times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at

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