I'll Have Another winner of The Kentucky Derby (PhotosByZ.com/Thoroughbred Times)
I’ll Have Another wore down Bodemeister towards the closing stages at Churchill Downs, to bring about a brilliant victory in the G1 Kentucky Derby. Owner J.Paul Reddam’s, trainer Doug O’Neill and jockey Mario Gutierrez could not have asked for anything better. This was the first Derby win for all the three.
A bargain buy at just $35,000 as a two year old, I’LL Have Another is named for his owner Paul Reddam’s typical response when his wife puts out the cookies. Mexican rider Mario Gutierrez, who was riding at Hastings Park, a year ago, was on his first mount in the Derby. “Like all jockeys, we all dream that one day, fortunately, I would be in the Kentucky Derby," Gutierrez said. "At the time, I was at Hastings, and of course, like a joke, I had the dream." Just a year later, I`ll Have Another and Gutierrez fulfilled that dream, as the pair stormed down the stretch at Churchill Downs to win the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby with a record crowd of 165,307 in attendance.
Complementing I’LL Have Another, Gutierrez said, "he's such a professional horse. I know he was going to help me 100% through the first part. In the end, he just gave 100% all the time. As soon as you ask him, he throws everything on the race, and he didn't disappoint today."
The favourite Bodemeister broke well from the gates, led early and set a strong pace. Bodemeister beneath Mike Smith had a clear three lengths lead over the nearest horse as they approached the final turn but that started to diminish on the stretch. I’ll Have Another had settled well with the group and moved to run fourth nearing the turn and responded readily to Gutierrez’s urgings on the stretch to chase the leader 1 ½ f out and sped past in the last 50 yards to pull off a sensational upset. Dullahan covered plenty of ground with a sustained run inside the last 1 ½ furlongs and finished a neck behind the runner-up.
The connections of Bodemeister are eagerly looking forward to a rematch in the Preakness Stakes that is to be run two weeks from now. Winning trainer O’Neil went on to add "Maryland here we come baby!”