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2012 Preakness Odds: Bodemeister, Kentucky Derby Winner, Is Second-Favorite In Preakness

By DAVID GINSBURG 05/17/12 02:11 PM ET AP

Preakness Odds
In this April 14, 2012, file photo, Bodemeister and jockey Mike Smith (11) cross the finish line to win the $1,000,000 Arkansas Derby horse race at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. He was the morning-line favorite in the Kentucky Derby, and he's the morning-line choice for the Preakness, too. Why? Because he's fast. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

BALTIMORE — A year ago, Graham Motion was one of the most popular figures at Pimlico Race Course.

As the trainer of Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, Motion had the lone horse in the Preakness field with a shot at winning the Triple Crown.

"The pressure is on you," the Englishman recalled Thursday. "The two weeks between the Derby and the Preakness, I felt like I was holding my breath. You're kind of walking on egg shells, hoping everything is going great with the horse."

Animal Kingdom came in second in the 2011 Preakness, a half-length behind Shackleford. Motion can't get the outcome out of his mind – no matter how hard he tries.

"We came that close," Motion said, holding his index finger and thumb a half-inch apart. "I was quite shocked to see Shackleford's picture on the grandstand when I drove in this morning. That was kind of a pit in my stomach."

Motion will saddle Went the Day Well in the Preakness on Saturday. The bay colt finished fourth in the Derby two weeks ago but has won two of his four starts this year.

Went the Day Well was bumped at Churchill Downs and forced to go seven wide in an effort to catch up. He rallied gamely under jockey John Velazquez, but couldn't quite make up enough ground to finish in the money.

"He ended up much farther back than Johnny wanted in the Derby, and that's probably what cost him being second. Maybe cost him the win," Motion said. "It's all about getting a good trip. There's always going to be a horse in the Derby that doesn't get a good trip, and that's what makes it so hard to win the Triple Crown."

If Motion has his way, horse racing will go another year without a Triple Crown winner. I'll Have Another has assumed the role held by Animal Kingdom last year, and Motion is determined to deny the Derby winner from making it two in a row.

"We're going to try our best to make sure it doesn't happen," Motion said. "We're going to make it hard for him. Let's put it that way."

Motion has been operating in relative obscurity this week while I'll Have Another trainer Doug O'Neill and Bob Baffert, trainer of Preakness favorite Bodemeister, are attracting much of the attention.

"I'm more comfortable being under the radar," Motion said.

He did, however, acknowledge that last year was far more exciting.

"You come to the Preakness with the Derby winner, that's pretty cool. It doesn't get any better than that," he said. "I'm more relaxed about it because the Triple Crown is over for us."

Barry Irwin heads the syndicate that owns Went the Day Well. That same syndicate owned Animal Kingdom, so Irwin can certainly sympathize with the way Motion is feeling this week.

"It was not fun," Irwin said. "But the horse, he just got too far back. ... Sure, I'd liked to have won, but he ran second. He ran a good race. I was happy. I was proud of him."

Irwin is excited about Saturday's race, but nothing can duplicate the feeling had before last year's Preakness.

"It's more intense because you know everybody's concentrating on it and focusing on it," he said. "It's not just me and my partners, it's everybody. So that adds a layer of tension to it."

Irwin hopes Bodemeister and I'll Have Another get into a speed duel and fade toward the finish of the 1 3/16th mile race, providing Went the Day Well the opportunity to swoop in and steal a victory.

"In the best of all possible worlds, I think Bodemeister, that Derby race has got to tell something on him," Irwin said. "You can't run as fast and as hard as he did and not have it affect you. I'll Have Another, if he wants to win the Triple Crown or win the Preakness, the onus is on him to go after Bodemeister. And if both those things happen, and my horse breaks cleanly, I hopefully will be the beneficiary."

Loading Slideshow...
  • Bodemeister (8-5)

    Exercise rider George Alvarez takes Kentucky Derby entrant Bodemeister for a workout at Churchill Downs Wednesday, May 2, 2012, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

  • I'll Have Another (5-2)

    Jockey Mario Gutierrez rides I'll Have Another to victory in the 138th Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 5, 2012, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Creative Cause (6-1)

    Heinz Steinmann's Creative Cause and jockey Joel Rosario win the Grade II, $300,000 San Felipe Stakes horse race, Saturday, March 10, 2012, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. (AP Photo/Benoit Photo)

  • Went The Day Well (6-1)

    Exercise rider Zeke Castro walks Went the Day Well after a workout at Churchill Downs Tuesday, May 1, 2012, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

  • Daddy Nose Best (12-1)

    Assistant trainer Scott Blaisi brings Preakness Stakes horse race hopeful Daddy Nose Best off the van upon the colt's arrival at Pimlico racetrack, Wednesday, May 16, 2012, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

  • Teeth of the Dog (15-1)

    The post positions for the 137th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course are displayed in Baltimore, Wednesday, May 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

  • Zetterholm (20-1)

    Exercise rider Mario Madrid rides Preakness hopeful Zetterholm during a morning workout at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Thursday, May 17, 2012. The Preakness Stakes horse race takes place May 19. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

  • Optimizer (30-1)

    Exercise rider Joel Cano takes Optimizer for a workout at Churchill Downs Thursday, May 3, 2012, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Tiger Walk ( 30-1)

    In this April 27, 2012 photo, Under Armour founder Kevin Plank, left, stands with Preakness Stakes entrant Tiger Walk and exercise rider Dimitri Dimitropoulos at Sagamore Farm in Glyndon, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

  • Pretention (30-1)

    In this April 27, 2012 photo, exercise rider Dimitri Dimitropoulos, left, guides Preakness Stakes entrant Tiger Walk to a news conference outside of a barn as Under Armour founder Kevin Plank, right, looks on at Sagamore Farm in Glyndon, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

  • Cozzetti (30-1)

    Photographers greet Preakness Stakes hopeful Cozzetti after he steps off the van at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., Wednesday afternoon, May 16, 2012. While his top 3-year-old Dullahan is sitting out the Preakness, trainer Dale Romans is sending out this gray colt with hopes of perhaps sneaking out of PImlico with another win. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

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Filed by Michael Klopman  |