Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Baffert goes for two wins

BATH TIME: Groom Guillermo Ochoa cleans Preakness hopeful Went the Day Well after a workout at Pimlico Race Course. The horse’s trainer is Graham Motion, who had last year’s Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom.

Associated Press

BATH TIME: Groom Guillermo Ochoa cleans Preakness hopeful Went the Day Well after a workout at Pimlico Race Course. The horse’s trainer is Graham Motion, who had last year’s Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom.

BALTIMORE — Preakness favorite Bodemeister isn't the only prominent 3-year-old Bob Baffert brought to Pimlico Race Course this week.

The Hall of Fame trainer is also looking for a victory today with unbeaten Mamma Kimbo in the Black-Eyed Susan, a Grade 2 race for 3-year-old fillies.

Today's card also includes the Pimlico Special, which returns after a three-year absence. The $300,000 Grade 3 race has a nine-horse field, including Alternation, who takes a three-race winning streak into the Special.

Mamma Kimbo won her racing debut in February and backed it up with a wire-to-wire win in the Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes. Despite her inexperience, Mamma Kimbo is the 7-5 favorite in the 10-horse field.

"Mamma Kimbo is very fast," Baffert said. "She just goes and takes it as far as she can. Mile and an eighth, I'd feel better if it was a 1�, but she's fast and she's been training well, so we'll see."

The race is a day before Baffert saddles favorite Bodemeister in the Preakness.

"We treat every race as if it's a big race," he said. "We don't get too caught up in all the hoopla."

Fresh test: The Kentucky Derby is arguably the most stressful thoroughbred race in the United States, and horses in the field get only a two-week rest if they run in the Preakness. So it might seem logical that horses that didn't run in the Derby would have an advantage at Pimlico by being fresh. But history refutes that. In the past decade, 64 horses have started in the Preakness without racing in the Derby, and only two have won. The most recent was the filly Rachel Alexandra in 2009, but she had raced in the Kentucky Oaks the day before the Derby.

Bittersweet memories: A year ago Graham Motion was one of the most popular figures at Pimlico. As the trainer of Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, he had the lone horse in the Preakness field with a shot at winning the Triple Crown. "The pressure is on you," said Motion, who will saddle Went the Day Well in this year's Preakness. "The two weeks between the Derby and the Preakness, I felt like I was holding my breath. You're kind of walking on eggshells, hoping everything is going great with the horse."

Animal Kingdom came in second, a half-length behind Shackleford. Motion can't get the outcome out of his mind. "I was quite shocked to see Shackleford's picture on the grandstand when I drove in (Thursday) morning. That was kind of a pit in my stomach," he said.

Went the Day Well was fourth in the Derby. He has won two of his four starts this year.

Weak job market: Mario Gutierrez has been on the phone constantly since winning the Kentucky Derby aboard I'll Have Another. Most of the messages he has gotten congratulate him on the win that lifted the jockey from Mexico out of obscurity. Few offer him more mounts.

He is still trying to crack the deep jockey colony in Southern California. Last weekend he had only four mounts at Hollywood Park. "Everybody knows that California racing has top trainers and top jockeys. I'm just glad to be riding with them," he said. "I am getting a lot of calls, but not to ride."

>>FAST FACTS

Preakness field

Post position and odds for Saturday's 137th Preakness Stakes:

PP HorseOdds
1. Tiger Walk30-1
2. Teeth of the Dog15-1
3. Pretension30-1
4. Zetterholm20-1
5. Went the Day Well6-1
6. Creative Cause6-1
7. Bodemeister8-5
8. Daddy Nose Best12-1
9. I'll Have Another5-2
10. Optimizer30-1
11. Cozzetti30-1

Today: Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, 4 (post time 4:46), NBC Sports Network

Saturday: Preakness, 4:30 (post time 6:17), Ch. 8

Baffert goes for two wins 05/17/12 [Last modified: Thursday, May 17, 2012 10:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jordan Spieth wins British Open (w/ video)

    Golf

    SOUTHPORT, England — Someday, perhaps soon, there will be a plaque at Royal Birkdale for Jordan Spieth, much like the one off the 16th hole that celebrates Arnold Palmer and the 6-iron he slashed out of the rough in 1961 to win the British Open and usher in a new era of golf.

    Matt Kuchar plays out of the bunker on the 18th hole and finishes with bogey for 1-under 69. He had a one-shot lead after 13 holes.
  2. Fennelly: Brutal weekend could be start of something worse for Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Well, that was lovely.

    Brad Boxberger suffers his second loss in the three-game series, this time by allowing back-to-back homers in the eighth inning when called on to protect a 5-3 lead. “Just bad pitches,” he says.
  3. Wesley Chapel hockey camp impresses youth players, parents

    Lightning Strikes

    WESLEY CHAPEL — As a 17-year-old Triple-A hockey player, MacCallum Brown regularly plays against elite talent. As a Palm Harbor resident, he often has to travel to face that talent.

  4. Rays journal: Rays gamble on Sergio Romo's track record, heart

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Some of RHP Sergio Romo's numbers this season with the Dodgers were the worst of his career, yet the Rays feel he can be a good fit for their bullpen.

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26:  Sergio Romo #54 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch in the 9th inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on June 26, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
  5. Rays claim not to be panicking after third straight brutal loss to Rangers (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was no "here we go again" moment in the dugout as Rougned Odor's two-run homer in the eighth inning arced across Tropicana Field and toward the rightfield seats, even though when it landed, the score was tied and another late-inning Rays lead was blown.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria heads back to the dugout after fouling out in the ninth inning with the potential tying run on first.