Churchill Downs trainers pick 2012 Preakness winner

I'll Have Another at morning workouts at Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs staff asked local trainers who they liked to win the Preakness tomorrow.  Several trainers at Churchill Downs offered their opinions and Churchill Downs shared them in today’s barn notes.  Most of the local Churchill Downs trainers were able to see the Derby contenders workout and run at Churchill Downs.  Those trainers are picking Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another or Derby runner-up Bodemeister to win the second jewel of the Triple Crown.  Trainers Doug O’Neill and Bob Baffert will be happy to hear the that their horses are favored by the trainers.

Trainers in the Derby winner’s corner include Buff Bradley, Steve Margolis, Jimmy Baker, Norman Casse, Dallas Stewart and Mike Tomlinson.

“I’ll be rooting for the Derby winner,” Bradley said. “I have a few horses by Flower Alley (sire of I’ll Have Another) in training and I bred a few mares to him last year.”

“I hope I’ll Have Another wins,” Margolis said. “I think it’d be good for racing (to have a potential Triple Crown winner going into the Belmont Stakes).”

“I want to see a Triple Crown winner, so I’ll be cheering for I’ll Have Another,” Baker said.

“I’m rooting for the Derby winner,” Casse said.

“Bodemeister will be tough, but I always cheer for the Derby winner,” Stewart said.

“If I’ll Have Another gets the same trip in the Preakness that he got in the Derby then he’ll be tough,” Tomlinson said.

The list of trainers who think Bodemeister will be visiting the winner’s circle Saturday include Ron Moquett, Scooter Dickey, Eddie Kenneally, Garry Simms and Bill Connelly.

“You need luck to win the Derby, speed to win the Preakness and class to win the Belmont,” Moquett said. “Who’s going to run with Bodemeister?”

“Bodemeister will do it,” Dickey said.

“They won’t beat Bodemeister,” Kenneally said.

“I think the ‘Bode’ will win,” Simms said.

“Bodemeister will be salty in there, but I did like the way (trainer) Dale (Romans’) horse (Cozzetti) worked the other day.”

Team Valor International and Mark Ford’s Went the Day Well, fourth in the Kentucky Derby, received support from Merrill Scherer and Bill Mott’s assistant Kenny McCarthy.

“I like (trainer) Graham (Motion’s) horse,” Scherer said.

“Bodemeister is probably the horse to beat, but I didn’t like him in the Derby so I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon now. I like Graham Motion’s horse.”

Santa Anita Derby (GI) runner-up Creative Cause is being backed by trainers Paul McGee and Tom Amoss.

“I liked the top-two in the Santa Anita Derby in the (Kentucky) Derby,” McGee said. “I picked I’ll Have Another and he doesn’t owe me anything so I’m switching it up and going with Creative Cause.”

“I like Creative Cause and I’ll Have Another,” Amoss said. “If I can get 6-1 odds on Creative Cause then that’s who I’m taking.”

The wait will not be long to find out which trainers correctly picked the Preakness winner with post time in just over 24 hours on Saturday at 6:18 p.m. (ET).  The race can be seen on NBC.  Earlier races at Pimlico Race Track will be shown on TVG, HRTV and NBC Sports Network.