Bodemeister (Opening odds: 4-1)
(CBS/AP) The 4-1 morning-line favorite is trained by three-time Derby winner Bob Baffert. While the trainer is recovering from a heart attack, his bay colt comes into the Derby off an eye-opening, wire-to-wire 9 1/2-length romp in the Arkansas Derby. Expect the bay colt to be on or close to the lead from the get-go under jockey Mike Smith. Bodemeister will break from the No. 6 gate. The Hall of Fame rider won the 2005 Derby aboard 50-1 shot Giacomo. The colt is named for Baffert's 7-year-old son, Bode, who is named for skier Bode Miller.
It's the third time the Hall of Fame trainer has had the early Derby favorite. The first two didn't work out. Lookin At Lucky drew the inside post in 2010, got trapped along the rail and finished sixth. In 2001, Point Given was the heavy favorite and wound up fifth. He went on to win the Preakness and Belmont stakes, the final two legs of the Triple Crown.
"At least we're in a position where we have a good chance of winning," Baffert said. "If I got the one-hole I would be thinking they just don't want me to win this Derby. After Lookin At Lucky, when he got the one-hole, the excitement just left me because I knew he had too much to overcome."
Baffert had a heart attack on March 26 in Dubai. "I just hope I have a chance to get my heart rate going turning for home," said Baffert, whose War Emblem was the last wire-to-wire Derby winner in 2002.