Zayat Stables’ Bodemeister , impressive winner of the Arkansas Derby (gr. I), breezed five-eighths of a mile in 1:00 4/5 at Churchill Downs the morning of April 24 in preparation for the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Working in tandem with stablemate Jemima's Pearl for trainer Bob Baffert, Bodemeister was timed in fractional splits of :12 4/5, :25, :36 4/5, and :48 4/5 for the first four furlongs. The son of Empire Maker galloped out six furlongs in 1:13 and seven furlongs in 1:27 3/5.
“I liked the way he went this morning,” 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.”
Bodemeister, who has two wins and two seconds in four starts, with earnings of $704,800, is seeking to become the first Derby winner since Apollo in 1882 who did not race at age 2. The colt began his career in January of this year and broke his maiden at Santa Anita in his second career start. Following a second in the San Felipe (gr. II), he rolled to victory in the April 14 Arkansas Derby, drawing off to win by 9 1/2 lengths.