Bob Baffert received an unexpected benefit for Bodemeister Friday morning when the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes runner-up worked in company with Splendid Fortune.
The two were part of a pack of 10 that went off simultaneously at the 8 a.m. (PDT) break on the fast dirt at Santa Anita and also finished together.
"I've never seen that happen before, ever," said private clocker Toby Turrell, who has been timing horses for 30 years. "It was a sight to see."
"When Bodemeister broke off, there must have been 10 horses breaking off at the same time," Baffert said. "He (jockey Martin Garcia) got him behind and the horse came back filthy dirty but he was fine. He couldn't have had a better work schooling today with the dirt hitting him."
Bodemeister, a candidate for either the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 7 or the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on April 14, was timed in :46 4/5. The son of Empire Maker broke his maiden by 9 1/4 lengths on February 11 and is seeking enough graded earnings to make the Kentucky Derby field on May 5.
Splendid Fortune, a Giant's Causeway sophomore filly who finished a half-length second in her career debut, was caught in :47 3/5 under Rafael Bejarano.
The leader in the 10-horse pack was Grade 1-placed stakes victor Mensa Heat, who sped five furlongs in :59 3/5 for trainer Ted H. West. Fifth most recently in the Joe Hernandez Handicap, the six-year-old Unusual Heat gelding is ticketed for the Grade 2 Potrero Grande Stakes on April 7.