Kentucky Derby 2012 Winner: I'll Have Another Is a Threat for the Triple Crown

Kevin Van PeltCorrespondent IMay 7, 2012

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05:  Mario Gutierrez celebrates atop I'll Have Another after winning the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby ahead of Bodemeister ridden by Mike Smith at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Travis Lindquist/Getty Images)
Travis Lindquist/Getty Images

I'll Have Another is a perfect candidate for the elusive Triple Crown.

The Kentucky Derby winner came into the Derby at 15-1 odds and was rarely talked about prior to the race. But after pulling away from the favorite Bodemeister, I'll Have Another proved that he is a horse to look out for heading into the Preakness.

Let's look deeper into the race and see how I'll Have Another will fare.

While the field is not yet out for the Preakness, you can assume that he will be one of the favorites heading into the race.

The Preakness Stakes is the shortest race of the Triple Crown races at one-and-three-sixteenth miles, compared to the Kentucky Derby's one-and-a-half miles.

I'll Have Another is more of an endurance horse, and he will have a harder time winning the Preakness than any other race. Horses with more speed, such as Bodemeister, should be able to pull away from the Derby winner before he has time to catch up.

The shorter race should allow jockey Mario Gutierrez to put his horse on the lead out of the starting gate and control the tempo of the race. While a shorter race allows for quicker horses to get going at full speed sooner than normal, it also allows Gutierrez to run a fast-paced race since he has a horse with stamina.

This type of race could cause the other horses to become tired quicker, bringing I'll Have Another one step closer to obtaining the Triple Crown.

The Belmont Stakes in June will be the event in which I'll Have Another should be the favorite. A horse built for stamina will thrive in the mile-and-a-half race.

Even though I'll Have Another is known for stamina, let's not overlook his speed. Being able to outrun Bodemeister during the final furlongs shows that he has great closing speed. Although stamina is still needed, the Preakness Stakes is more of a speed race.

His underrated speed was overlooked heading into the Kentucky Derby, but it should not be overlooked at the Preakness. Keep your eyes open at the Preakness, as we could be witnessing history.