Kentucky Derby Winner: Handicapping Triple Crown Odds for I'll Have Another
The most exciting two minutes in sports are over, and I'll Have Another, ridden by Mario Gutierrez, is the new champion of the Kentucky Derby.
It might take Gutierrez, who was competing in his first Kentucky Derby on Saturday, a little time to get over the excitement of this one, but now it's time to look forward to the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, because the pressure of winning the Triple Crown will be immense.
No horse has won the Triple Crown since Affirmed did it in 1978, but can I'll Have Another be the first to make it happen in 34 years? Let's take a look forward...
At 9.5 furlongs, the Preakness is much shorter than the Derby and as a result could really hurt I'll Have Another.
As you saw today, Gutierrez comfortably stayed behind the torrid pace that Bodemeister and Trinniberg were setting, and waited patiently to make his awesome move on the final stretch.
Early look at the Preakness. Who do you like?
Will that be effective on a shorter track? Can I'll Have Another start the comeback earlier than it did today?
In a word, I'm inclined to say "no."
It's not that I think I'll Have Another can't start faster than it did today and therefore be in it near the end; I just think Bodemeister is too good and won't let up like he did today.
At the Derby, Bodemeister set the fifth-fastest time through the quarter- and half-mile marks. He couldn't quite hold on near the end, however, and fell to second place. At the Preakness, Bodemeister should absolutely run away with it.
Bodemeister will be the favorite, and I'll Have Another will have trouble catching him at Pimlico.
Projected odds: 8/1
If I'll Have Another manages to pull off the victory at the Preakness, he'll be favored to win the Belmont and take home the Triple Crown.
Because the Belmont Stakes is 12 furlongs, which is even longer than the Derby.
I'll Have Another, even after his frantic comeback, looked to have plenty in the tank at the finish line today. If the race was longer, he would have destroyed the field.
He still won by one-and-a-half lengths, but it would have been more if the track was longer. That's how good he looked.
What's more, he is relatively fresh and should be able to hold up better than other horses over the next two races. I like his odds at Belmont Park.
Projected odds: 9/2
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