"They're both brilliant. It's like Alydar and Affirmed — they're both brilliant horses," he said. "Alydar could have beat Affirmed but somehow he didn't."

As Baffert went over to console Smith, the two seemed to be at a loss for words, their conversation a bit forced. Baffert, who admitted to watching I'll Have Another in the paddock before the race and then throughout the Preakness Stakes, still had an image of the backstretch in his head. The image of I'll Have Another reverberated with both the losing trainer and jockey.

"Son of a gun, he…" Smith started before pausing.

"He's a good horse," Baffert interjected.

"He really is. He really is," Smith said.

Just a little better than their Bodemeister.

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

don.markus@baltsun.com

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