I'll Have Another: A Pictorial Tribute to Triple Crown Contender
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I'll Have Another is aiming at horse racing's immortality as he will try to win the Belmont Stakes this Saturday and take the elusive Triple Crown.
Sweeping the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes in five weeks is truly one of the toughest achievements in all of sports.
There have been 45 horses who won two out of the three Triple Crown races, but only 21 who won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness only to fail in the Belmont Stakes.
Only 11 horses have been able to achieve horse racing's most difficult feat and it hasn't been done in 34 years.
I'll Have Another has just 1.5 miles and 10 contenders between him and being part of the magnificent dozen.
His unassuming connections also make this a very interesting story to follow and certainly will have a lot to do with his final outcome.
Paul Reddam named I’ll Have Another for his nightly reply when his wife, Zillah, asks him if he’d like another cookie. Now he will be asking for one more win come Saturday.
Let's take a look at I'll Have Another and how he got here, just one step away from the Triple Crown.
Debut Win: July 3, 2011
(Photo via Equibase.com replays)
I'll Have Another ($4.80-1) won his debut race going wire-to-wire under west coast leading jockey Joel Rosario.
He was urged to the lead from post seven and was being angled to the inside rail through the turn.
Through a strong urging from Rosario on the stretch he held on gamely the challenge from the heavy favorite Scorpion Warrior ($0.40-1) who stalked the pace but was never able to catch him.
Hollywood Park (Synthetic) | Track: Fast | Distance: 5.5 Furlongs | Maiden Special Weight 2YO
|8||I'll Have Another||Joel Rosario||$11.60||$3.40||$2.80|
|4||Scorpion Warrior||Rafael Bejarano||$2.20||$2.10|
|3||Tummel||David Romero Flores||$6.20|
Fractional Times: :22.22, :45.83, :57.83
Winning Time: 1:03.96
Beyer Figure: 83
Best Pal Stakes (G2): First Loss
(Photo via Equibase.com race replays)
On just his second race, this was I'll Have Another's graded stakes debut.
And just like on his debut I'll Have Another ($6.80-1) was urged to the lead but this time from post No. 1 under jockey Joel Rosario.
He took the lead but this time he was challenged by speedster Brigand from the outside and had to duel with him for the first four furlongs.
At the top of the stretch, he had subdued Brigand but heavy favorite Creative Cause ($0.80-1) was on second place with dead aim at him up front.
In the final furlong Creative Cause caught up to him and went by him to go on and win by 1.75 lengths. I'll Have Another easily held on for second by 3.25 over Mighty Monsoon.
Best Pal Stakes (G2) | Del Mar Race Track| Track: Fast | Distance: 5.5 furlongs
|2||Creative Cause||Rafael Bejarano||$3.60||$2.60||$2.10|
|1||I'll Have Another||Joel Rosario||$5.00||$4.20|
|3||Mighty Monsoon||Victor Espinoza||$4.80|
Fractional Times: :22.55, :45.15, 1:09.49
Winning Time: 1:15.62
Beyer Figure: 84
Hopeful Stakes (G1): Only Time out of the Money
Favorite Currency Swap won the Hopeful Stakes and I'll Have Another finished sixth. (Photo via espn.go.com)
I'll Have Another ($11.90-1) took his first trip outside of California to run here at the Hopeful Stakes over the tough Saratoga track.
It was also the first—and last—time Julien Leparoux rode him. Joel Rosario was aboard for the first two races but had another commitment to ride that same day out west.
He wasn't helped by the fact that we has off to a very slow start which contrasted with his previous races.
He had to be taken to the back of the pack and took a mostly wide trip on the turn. He was a non-factor on the home stretch where he passed mainly tired horse.
This has been to date, the only time I'll Have Another finished beyond second place.
Maybe it was the sloppy track or the bad start, but here he didn't fire his best race.
Hopeful Stakes (G1) | Saratoga Race Track | Track: Sloppy | Distance: 7.0 furlongs
|1||Currency Swap||Rajiv Maragh||$5.80||$3.40||$2.60|
|6||Trinniberg||Cornelio H. Velasquez||$32.00||$11.40|
|5||Big Blue Nation||Ramon A. Dominguez||$5.20|
|Also ran: 8 - Laurie's Rocket , 4 - Power World , 7 - I'll Have Another , 2 - Hunt Crossing , 3 - Vexor , 1A - Clip the Coupons , 9 - J C's Pride|
Fractional Times: :21.91, :45.14, 1:11.49
Winning Time: 1:26.16
Beyer Figure: 40
Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2): Start of the Streak
Winning the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (photo via NTRA.com)
I'll Have Another said hello to the west coast Derby contenders list when at $43.30-1 odds, he shocked a fine group of promising three-year-olds led by then race-favorite Liaison.
Liaison clipped heels with Groovin' Solo at the top of the stretch and lost his jockey Rafael Bejarano. Groovin' Solo finished third but was disqualified to last-place for the incident.
It was the first time jockey Mario Gutierrez rode I'll Have Another and he placed him second early on, stalking the pace set forth by Isn't He Clever.
By the three-quarter mile pole he engaged Isn't He Clever and by the top of the stretch he had a clear two-length lead.
Under a strong urging from Gutierrez, I'll Have Another held on to win clear by 2.75 lengths over Empire Way who came from last to finish second under jockey Joel Rosario.
Robert B Lewis Stakes (G2) | Santa Anita Race Track | Track: Fast | Distance: 8.5 furlongs
|4||I'll Have Another||Mario Gutierrez||$88.60||$35.80||$12.00|
|7||Empire Way||Joel Rosario||$11.80||$6.20|
|6||Rousing Sermon||Joseph Talamo||$3.40|
|Also ran: 1 - Isn't He Clever , 5 - Sky Kingdom , 8 - Chips All In , 3 - Groovin' Solo , 2 - Liaison (lost jockey)|
Fractional Times: :23.03, :46.77, 1:10.52, 1:34.52
Winning Time: 1:40.84
Beyer Figure: 96
Santa Anita Derby (G1): The Best on the West Coast?
I'll Have Another edges Creative Cause to win the Santa Anita Derby. (photo via ntra.com)
This race marked the first time I'll Have Another would face Creative Cause since he lost to him at the Best Pal Stakes last year.
Creative Cause was the heavy favorite ($0.90-1). He had just defeated Bodemeister in the San Felipe Stakes (G2) and was still considered the best out west.
I'll Have Another had won the Robert B. Lewis (G2) and was a far second betting choice ($4.80-1).
Mario Gutierrez took him to a stalking second-place in the early goings behind longshot Blueskiesandrainbows ($42.30-1) who took the lead to the top of the stretch.
I'll Have Another dropped to third on the back-stretch as Longview Drive took second and Creative Cause started a move on the far turn passing I'll Have Another.
At the top of the stretch Creative Cause was leading I'll Have Another by a head and both had aim at a feisty Blueskiesandrainbows who didn't want to surrender the lead.
In an incredibly close final stretch between the three horses, I'll Have Another prevailed by a nose over Creative Cause and half-length over Blueskiesandrainbows.
Although I'll Have Another won, Creative Cause was still considered by most the best on the west coast. But he was closing the gap on the division's elite.
Santa Anita Derby (G1) | Santa Anita Race Track | Track: Fast | Distance: 9.0 furlongs
|4||I'll Have Another||Mario Gutierrez||$10.20||$4.20||$3.60|
|1||Creative Cause||Joel Rosario||$2.60||$2.40|
|Also ran: 6 - Paynter , 10 - Brother Francis , 2 - Liaison , 8 - Midnight Transfer , 7 - Senor Rain , 5 - Longview Drive|
|Scratched horses: Holy Candy (Trainer)|
Fractional Times: :23.11, :47.11, 1:11.14, 1:35.36
Winning Time: 1:47.88
Beyer Figure: 95
The Kentucky Derby (G1): The Classic Upset
I'll Have Another wins the Kentucky Derby after catching Bodemeister in the final half-furlong
Travis Lindquist/Getty Images
No horse had ever won the Derby from post position No. 19. That was the initial challenge that I'll Have Another was facing.
He had never faced as many horses and his connections were new to the grand stage of the Derby. It reflected on his $15.30-1 odds on race day.
During the race, Mario Gutierrez placed him slowly but surely to the inside and kept him out of trouble all throughout the race.
He was sixth in the early going and started inching closer to the blazing pace set by Bodemeister from the three-quarter mile pole.
As he reached the top of the stretch, Gutierrez had swung him around the tiring Trinniberg and Hansen and was second three-lengths behind Bodemeister.
Under a strong urging during the stretch, I'll Have Another was able to catch Bodemeister just after the final half-furlong pole and drew away to win clear by 1.5 lengths.
He won the race and scored the upset, but still, many felt that Bodemeister was the better horse as he surrendered after setting up five of the fastest splits in Derby history.
Round two would come up next in the Preakness Stakes.
Kentucky Derby (G1) | Churchill Downs | Track: Fast | Distance 10.0 furlongs
|19||I'll Have Another||Mario Gutierrez||$32.60||$13.80||$9.00|
|6||Bodemeister||Mike E. Smith||$6.20||$5.60|
|5||Dullahan||Kent J. Desormeaux||$7.20|
|Also ran: 13 - Went the Day Well , 8 - Creative Cause , 20 - Liaison , 4 - Union Rags , 7 - Rousing Sermon , 14 - Hansen , 10 - Daddy Nose Best , 2 - Optimizer , 11 - Alpha , 16 - El Padrino , 17 - Done Talking , 18 - Sabercat , 15 - Gemologist , 9 - Trinniberg , 12 - Prospective , 3 - Take Charge Indy , 1 - Daddy Long Legs|
|Scratched horses: My Adonis (Also-Eligible)|
Fractional Times: :22.32, :45.39, :1:09.80, 1:35.19
Winning Time: 2:01.83
The Preakness Stakes (G1): Validation Victory
I'll Have Another edges Bodemeister once again to win the Preakness Stakes.
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
I'll Have Another had won three straight stakes and answered every challenge, improving on every race. And while he was gaining followers in bunches, he still didn't have the full respect of the fans.
When the Preakness came, fans made Bodemeister the $1.70-1 favorite over I'll Have Another at $3.20-1.
The logic used was that with virtually no horse to challenge Bodemeister on the lead, he would be able to set easier fractional times and blow his competition away just like he did on the Arkansas Derby (G1).
The other factor was that Bodemeister was still up front at the 9.5 furlong pole in the Derby which was the Preakness distance.
And the race developed as expected with Bodemeister up front with easier fractionals. At the half-mile pole he was running two full seconds slower than the Derby.
I'll Have Another settled in nicely in fourth place early and started his move slowly from the three-quarter mile pole.
Bodemeister was on the lead by three lengths as they entered the stretch; I'll Have Another would have to find a second gear to catch him.
In a thrilling stretch run, I'll Have Another got to Bodemeister in the red zone and edged him to win by a neck.
It was validation time for I'll Have Another as he was able to win yet again answering the challenge with everything going Bodemeister's way.
Now all he has between him and the Triple Crown is 1.5 miles and 10 contenders. The day for him to answer his next challenge is Saturday June 9, 2012.
Whether he wins or not, history will be written, so make sure you watch it.
Preakness Stakes (G1) | Pimlico Race Track | Track: Fast | Distance 9.5 furlongs
|9||I'll Have Another||Mario Gutierrez||$8.40||$3.80||$2.80|
|7||Bodemeister||Mike E. Smith||$3.20||$2.80|
|6||Creative Cause||Joel Rosario||$3.60|
|Also ran: 4 - Zetterholm , 2 - Teeth of the Dog , 10 - Optimizer , 11 - Cozzetti , 1 - Tiger Walk , 8 - Daddy Nose Best , 5 - Went the Day Well , 3 - Pretension|
Fractional Times: :23.79, :47.68, 1:11.72, 1:36.69
Winning Time: 1:55.94
Beyer Figure: 109