LOUISVILLE, Ky. - I’ll Have Another earned his place in history with a tremendous performance in the Kentucky Derby, rallying strongly to overhaul Bodemeister in America’s biggest horse race. The Doug O’Neill-trained winner will look to carry his momentum forward two weeks later in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico.
In front of a record crowd of 165,307 at Churchill Downs, I’ll Have Another was the star of the show. He is quite the equine athlete, a beautiful mover with long, ground-eating strides, and received an ideal trip in the congested 20-horse field.
Post 19 turned out to be a blessing considering how the race unfolded, with unsung jockey Mario Gutierrrez keeping I’ll Have Another in the clear most of the way before starting to pick up steam on the far turn. The chestnut colt didn’t lose much ground despite the outside port and was in the perfect position to catch the speed in the latter stages.
Runnerup Bodemeister lost nothing in defeat, running his eyeballs out in a remarkable effort. The field was loaded with early speed, but Bodemeister sped away from the starting gate and showed the way into the first turn. The Bob Baffert trainee was flying early — his opening fractions of :22.32, :45.39 and 1:09.80 were some of the fastest in the 138-year history of the Kentucky Derby — and Bodemeister was doing it easily.
Dullahan deserves praise for his finish. The big question surrounding him was dirt — he was proven on only turf and synthetics — but he put any concerns to rest with his third-place effort.
Went the Day Well receives a commendable mark for his fourth-place showing. He dropped back near the tail of the field in the early stages and was steadied in traffic on the far turn, forcing him to alter course in search of a clear path. The 30-1 longshot looked hopelessly beaten turning for home, but he kicked it into overdrive and came charging into contention in deep stretch only to run out of ground in the end. The troubled trip may have cost him second as Went the Day Well outran his 30-1 odds.
Creative Cause was checked entering the first turn, costing him ground as he was shuffled back, but his jockey got him into the clear on the backstretch and the gray colt made a nice move to reach a threatening position turning for him. He came up a little short in deep stretch, but Creative Cause did not disgrace himself in fifth.
Champion two-year-old Hansen had no excuses, checking in a tiring ninth.
Gemologist, the 8-1 third choice in the wagering, was extremely disappointing. He got away cleanly, racing in the clear in a threatening position until the far turn, and then came up empty, retreating all the way back to 16th in a total clunker.
Take Charge Indy had no excuses — he just failed to show up with anything resembling his performances earlier this year in Florida. Jockey Calvin Borel placed Take Charge Indy in a perfect spot during the early stages, but his mount threw in the towel upon reaching the far turn and beat only one horse, Daddy Long Legs, who didn’t even finish as he was eased up late.
Daddy Long Legs shipped in from Ireland for the Kentucky Derby, but he was woefully unprepared for the experience.
Horses in the Belmont Stakes on June 8 will face tighter security for the second straight year.
The Godolphin doping scandal deepened Monday, with British racing authorities announcing that seven more horses have tested positive for steroids, including the winner of the world's oldest classic.