Preparation for 138th Kentucky Derby continues at Churchill Downs

Favorites Bodemeister and Union Rags are staying sharp prior to Saturday's race

May 03, 2012|By Chris Korman | The Baltimore Sun

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Most of the entries in the 138th Kentucky Derby galloped at Churchill Downs this morning, staying loose in front of a growing crowd.

Creative Cause, the striking grey horse who caused some intrigue when he didn’t come out to the track the last two days, looked very strong. Hansen, the near-white colt who won the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile here last year, looked small but athletic and playful.

“He eats everything,” trainer Michael Maker said. “None of it sticks. He goofs around too much.”

Hansen mostly appeared to vacilate between antagonizing other horses and preening for photos.

Bodemeister, the 4-1 favorite, and Union Rags, the 9-2 second choice (read our full draw story here), both came out during the period set aside for only Derby and Oaks horses.

Later, Union Rags snacked on grass near his barn, unfazed by a gawking crowd wondering how the horse will come back from a difficult trip in the Florida Derby.

 “It’s a fair question,” exercise rider Peter Brette said. “The way other people see him, that’s warranted. But we know the horse we have. He hasn’t changed, and he’s ready for this kind of race.”

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