05/28/2012 4:21PM

Belmont Stakes 2012: I'll Have Another's exercise rider ready to rejoin star partner

Barbara D. Livingston
Jonny Garcia, the regular exercise rider for I'll Have Another, is expected to have his paperwork completed so he can resume riding the Triple Crown candidate in New York.

Jonny Garcia, the regular exercise rider of I’ll Have Another, was expected to reunite with his Triple Crown candidate on Tuesday morning after resolving some paperwork issues that prevented him from being permitted to ride in New York.

As is the case with most things in racing, there are different requirements to get licensed in different jurisdictions. Garcia did not have the sufficient paperwork to be granted a New York license.

[I’LL HAVE ANOTHER: Derby, Preakness winner runs for Triple Crown]

Garcia has a visa petition but needed another form of identification – such as a social security card, a tax ID number, or resident card – to get a license, according to the stewards.

O’Neill said Garcia was scheduled to arrive in New York Monday afternoon to take care of the necessary paperwork and he expected Garcia to be on I’ll Have Another Tuesday morning.

O’Neill said having Garcia back on I’ll Have Another is important for continuity sake.

“It is. You come this far you hate changing anything,” O’Neill said. “Exercise riders are a huge part of the team so it is nice to have the continuity back.”

Hector Ramos, an exercise rider for Todd Pletcher, got on I’ll Have Another for two mornings. Humberto Gomez, a rider based with O’Neill in California, has been on the horse since he began galloping last Friday.

On Monday, I’ll Have Another galloped a solid mile in less than two minutes. O’Neill said to expect to see more of the same leading up to the Belmont.

“If any of you guys got a chance to see him, I think he’s maintained his energy level and his stride and he looks fantastic,” O’Neill said. “Today the track, was, according to the crew, at its deepest and most tiring, so it was good to get him over that, and he recovered very quickly and drank a very little bit of water.”