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2012 Kentucky Derby: Bodemeister, Daddy Nose Best, Liaison All Have Arizona Ties

There are three horses with Arizona ties at the 2012 Kentucky Derby. Bodemeister and Liaison have trainer Bob Baffert, who was born in Nogales, Arizona at the southern part of the state. Baffert now lives in California. Daddy Nose Best will be rode by jockey Garrett Gomez, who was born in Tucson, Arizona.

Bodemeister is currently considered the potential overall favorite, with 9/2 odds. Chris Korman of the Chicago Tribune has this report.

He ran past the Arkansas Derby field, winning by 91/2 lengths. Though there's concern about his maturity and conditioning — as would be the case for any lightly raced colt — Bodemeister has captured the imagination of those seeking the next Triple Crown winner. He's that fast. Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby three times, most recently with War Emblem in 2002, and won the Preakness in each of those years. Owned by Zayat Stables, Bodemeister has been working at Churchill Downs since his win in Arkansas.

Daddy Nose Best has 15/1 odds. Gomez wrote a little bit about his horse and how he came to be his jockey on his ESPN Horse Racing Blog.

Like I said, this is a nice young horse with a great future ahead of him. When they first gave me the mount, Scott Blasi sent me a picture of the colt and I was really impressed. He's a good-looking little horse and his past two races were solid improvements, moving forward -- the El Camino Real Derby win in February and the Sunland Derby victory in March.

I worked the colt on April 23; he'll work again tomorrow but I won't be aboard -- I get to watch this time. That was just a getting-to-know-you ride, and we're good to go. When I worked him, he handled really well. We went in company with Z Dager, who is multiple graded stakes placed, and "Daddy" put him away fairly easily turning for home. He finished up well and came home handily about a length in front of the other horse. People who watched his work were very impressed. The Daily Racing Form clocked him in six furlongs in 1:13.70, galloping out seven-eighths in 1:27.10, and gave him the "Work of the Day" mention online. Hopefully he goes as well tomorrow and it'll be "all systems go."

Liaison currently has the longest odds at 40/1 odds. The Associated Press has more on how Liaison came to run in the Derby.

Trainer Bob Baffert only needed to see Liaison run in Kentucky compared to California to decide to give the horse a chance in the Kentucky Derby.

"I'm going to run him," Baffert said Tuesday. "I love the way he went over this track. What a difference."

Liaison, sired by Indian Charlie, is coming off a string of poor performances in Santa Anita, Calif. The 3-year-old bay colt owned by Arnold Zetcher hasn't finished in the top three of any race so far in 2012 after winning the CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park in December.

You can find much more information on the official Kentucky Derby website.

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