LOUISVILLE, Ky. — — Despite a second-place finish for Bodemeister, both his trainer and jockey were very happy with his effort.
"He ran his race," said Bob Baffert, who runs his barn out of Southern California. "He was there and just got tired a little bit. He's only run four times, and I was really proud of him. He's a super impressive horse.
"It's the only time I've run second where I've been happy because he ran his race."
Jockey Mike Smith agreed.
"He didn't finish first, but he's still a winner," Smith said. "He's such a free-running horse that I couldn't take that away from him. At the top of the stretch, I really thought we had it, but I knew we were in trouble when I saw Doug's horse [Doug O'Neill's I'll Have Another] coming."
Union Rags disappoints
The performance of Union Rags was one of the big disappointments of the day for the many bettors who made him the slight second favorite. He finished seventh and was never really a factor.