Bodemeister ‘Rising Star’ Takes to Two Turns in Los Al Derby

8th at LRC, $150kGIII Los Alamitos Derby (1 1/8m)Winner: Once On Whiskey, c, 3 by Bodemeister

Once On Whiskey | Benoit Photo

TDN Rising Star‘ Once On Whiskey (Bodemeister) was let go at odds of 7-1 trying a route of ground for the first time in Saturday’s GIII Los Alamitos Derby in Orange County, but belied his inexperience at two turns to peg back Draft Pick (Candy Ride {Arg}) in the shadow of the wire. Exiting an apparently excuse-free third in a seven-furlong Churchill allowance test May 5, the $150,000 Keeneland September purchase raced at the back of the Los Al Derby field alongside Blended Citizen (Proud Citizen) as favored stablemate Ax Man (Misremembered) set the pace from Draft Pick in the middle and a three-wide King Cause (Creative Cause). Ax Man was never given a breather and Draft Pick put him to the sword with three-eighths of a mile to travel, having won that battle. Once On Whiskey picked up the slack for his fading stablemate, and soon emerged as the fresh challenge entering the final furlong. Draft Pick kept plugging away as he was looking for the line, but Flavien Prat shoved Once On Whiskey home narrowly in front.

Saturday, Los Alamitos
LOS ALAMITOS DERBY-GIII, $150,000, Los Alamitos, 7-14, 3yo,
1 1/8m, 1:48.93, ft.
1–ONCE ON WHISKEY, 122, c, 3, by Bodemeister
1st Dam: Crespano (SP, $216,680), by Mineshaft
2nd Dam: Code of Ethics, by Honour and Glory
3rd Dam: Smuggle, by Lord Avie
Ylg ’16 KEESEP). O-Karl Watson, Michael Pegram & Paul
Weitman; B-Gabriel Duignan & Crosshaven Bloodstock (KY);
T-Bob Baffert; J-Flavien Prat. $90,000. Lifetime Record:
4-2-1-1, $140,300. Werk Nick Rating: A++. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Draft Pick, 122, c, 3, Candy Ride (Arg)–Firehouse Red, by
Arch. ($450,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP). O-C R K Stable LLC; B-Hinkle
Farms (KY); T-Peter Eurton. $30,000.
3–Ax Man, 122, c, 3, Misremembered–Shameful, by Flying
Chevron. O-Patti & Hal J. Earnhardt III; B-Hal J Earnhardt (KY);
T-Bob Baffert. $18,000.
Margins: HD, 5, HD. Odds: 7.30, 2.10, 0.70.
Also Ran: King Cause, Blended Citizen. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Once On Whiskey garnered some attention when he flew home to be second on debut–one spot ahead of recent GIII Ohio Derby winner Core Beliefs (Quality Road)–going six panels at Santa Anita Feb. 3. He rallied in last-to-first fashion to don cap and gown going an additional furlong Mar. 24, but nothing he was going to do under the Twin Spires last time was going to take the spotlight from fellow Baffert pupil Justify (Scat Daddy), who kicked off his Triple Crown run in the GI Kentucky Derby later on the card.

“[Once On Whiskey] has been working well and we’ve been wanting to stretch him out, so we decided to put him in here,” said Baffert. “In the stretch I could tell Ax Man was starting to get tired… I saw a horse coming and I said, ‘That’s me,’ so that was good. He needed the whole stretch to get there.”

The Hall of Famer continued, “I’m happy for the whole [Pegram, Watson and Weitman] gang. I like what I saw from him today. Coming in I really thought Ax Man could do it, but on the turn, I could see them ganging up on him and he just didn’t respond.”

Pedigree Notes:

The third graded winner and eighth black-type winner for his sire, Once On Whiskey is a maternal grandson of SW Code Of Ethics (Honour and Glory) and hails from the family of GSW Careless Heiress and GSW One and Twenty (Honour and Glory). The winner’s dam has a yearling filly by The Factor and a filly foal by Not This Time. The mare was bred to Runhappy.


Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.