Preakness favorite Bodemeister isn’t the only prominent 3-year-old Bob Baffert brought to Pimlico Race Course this week.
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The Hall of Fame trainer is also looking for a victory Friday with unbeaten Mamma Kimbo in the Black-Eyed Susan, a Grade 2 race for 3-year-old fillies.
Friday’s card also includes the Pimlico Special, which returns after a three-year absence. The $300,000, Grade 3 race has a nine-horse field, including Alternation, who takes a three-race winning streak in the Special.
Mamma Kimbo won her racing debut in February and backed it up with a wire-to-wire win in the Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes. Despite her inexperience, Mamma Kimbo is the 7-5 favorite in the 10-horse field.
”Mamma Kimbo is very fast,” Baffert said. ”She just goes and takes it as far as she can. Mile and an eighth, I’d feel better if it was a 1-1/16, but she’s fast and she’s been training well. So, we’ll see.”
The race will be held a day before Baffert saddles Bodemeister in the Preakness, but the trainer insists his horses will get the attention they deserve.
”Our barn is sort of geared up for that,” he said. ”We treat every race as if it’s a big race. We don’t get too caught up in all the hoopla.”
Trainer Todd Pletcher has two horses in the race: Disposablepleasure (5-1) and In Lingerie (9-2).
Disposablepleasure finished fourth and third in her two races this year. In Lingerie is coming off a win in the March 26 Bourbonette Oaks.
Alternation, meanwhile, is coming off a win in the Oaklawn Handicap in which he defeated three horses entered in the Pimlico Special: Yawanna Twist, Hymn Book and Nehro.
”This looked like a good next step for him,” Alternation trainer Donnie Van Hemel said. ”We liked the distance and the type of race it is. It is a race with a lot of tradition and history.”
Past winners of the Pimlico Special include War Admiral, Seabiscuit, Whirlaway, Citation and Cigar.
Mission Impazible, trained by Pletcher, is the 7-2 favorite. The horse has not won since March 2011 but has career earnings of more than $1.2 million, more than any other horse in the race.