Derby Prep Recap: Welcome Bodemeister and Dullahan to Party

Bodemeister winning the Arkansas Derby

Bodemeister was in a laegue of his own in the Arkansas Derby

The final two major Kentucky Derby preps were contested last Saturday, and they both produced serious contenders for the Run for the Roses, now less than three weeks away.

Bodemeister gives hall of fame trainer Bob Baffert a legitimate shot of winning another Kentucky Derby just six weeks after suffering a heart attack while in Dubai, and Dullahan is now a legit contender despite never having won on conventional dirt.

Bodemeister Masters Hot Springs
Baffert sent out a pair of runners in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park and it was no surprise to see the duo run one-two.

When Baffert ships to Hot Springs from his home in Southern California, it is about as close as we get in horse racing to a sure thing. The hall of fame trainer went into the race having won with 11 of his last 15 starters at Oaklawn Park.

Secret Circle shipped to Oaklawn Park for the third time this spring, having won the Southwest (G3) and Rebel (G2), but was no match for his stablemate and had to settle for the runner up spot.

Bodemeister came into the race with just three career starts, but had back to back triple digit Beyer Speed Figures on his resume, an impressive maiden score followed by a solid runner up finish behind Creative Cause in the San Felipe (G2).

The colt made the Beyer boys happy with a 9 ½ length gate to wire win, popping a 108 Beyer, the top figure from all of the key Derby preps this year.

The colt had to put in a strong performance on Saturday or he would not have had enough graded earnings to make it to Louisville, and now the colt figures to be one of the top four betting choices in the field.

The Derby is going to have no shortage of early zip signed up, but this colt has the look of a runner that would be able to sit in a tracking role on Derby Day.

Bodemeister paid $6.80 to win and combined with Secret Circle to return a $2 exacta that paid $21.40. The 11/1 longshot Sabercat landed in third, with the $1 trifecta paying $119.60.

2012 Arkansas Derby Won by Bodemeister

For Dullahan the Poly is Greener
The Dale Romans trained Dullahan ran down 2011 juvenile champion Hansen in the stretch to win the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland in impressive fashion, showing the type of late foot that may be attractive to bettors on Derby Day.

The colt was making just his second start as a three-year-old, his first outing a runner up finish in the Pam Beach (G2) on grass at Gulfstream Park.

The colt now has a pair of Grade 1 wins under his belt. He took the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) last fall at Keeneland in his first start on polytrack.

What the colt does not have is a win on conventional dirt. He was third and fifth in a couple of dirt sprints at Churchill Downs to start off his career, and he was late running fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) last fall at Churchill Downs.

With a likely fast pace expected on Derby Day, this colt is going to be one of the more attractive late running types in the field and it will be interesting how the betting public assesses this guy chances.

It looks as if he could be the fourth choice in the race, not much separating the likely favorites Union Rags, Bodemeister, and Gemologist.

The colt earned a career top 98 Beyer Speed Figure for his victory and returned $8.40 as the second choice in the field of 13 in the Blue Grass.

Hansen completed a $2 exacta that returned $23.60, and despite the loss still has to be considered among the top contenders for the Derby.

2012 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes Won by Dullahan

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