In a tremendous display of class and determination, Kentucky Derby champion I’ll Have Another set dead aim on Arkansas Derby victor Bodemeister in the stretch of the Preakness before passing him in the shadow of the wire. He completed the 1 3/16 miles distance in 1:55.94 under a masterful ride from Mario Gutierrez while earning a preliminary Beyer Speed Figure of 109. It was 8 3/4 lengths back to Creative Cause in third.
Bodemeister looked to have the race locked up as they turned for home, having traveled through easy fractions of :47.68 and 1:11.62 while sitting on a three length lead. At the same time, the Derby winner was seemingly left with too much to do. However, I’ll Have Another reached deep inside and reeled in his foe.
It is onward to Belmont Park where I’ll Have Another will try to do the seemingly impossible; become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed completed the sweep in 1978. Trainer Doug O’Neill will head to Big Sandy with a fresh horse that is bred to run as far as the connections want him to go.
History has seen 11 winners of the Triple Crown and since Affirmed there have been 11 horses take the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes double before failing in the Belmont Stakes. Interestingly, the son of Flower Alley will be number 12 in line, and if he should win, he would become 12th Triple Crown winner.
I’ll Have Another will not go untested in the Belmont Stakes. Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner up Union Rags is laying in wait as is Blue Grass Stakes winner and Derby third place finisher Dullahan.
He has already solidified himself as a great horse, but a win in three weeks would allow him to be called something no horse in decades has deserved to be called; legendary.