07/08/2012 2:16PM

Hollywood Park: Fans get chance to say goodbye to I’ll Have Another

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Jockey Mario Gutierrez waves to the crowd as I'll Have Another is paraded Saturday at Hollywood Park.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – I’ll Have Another made his final public appearance Saturday before a small but appreciative crowd at Betfair Hollywood Park, just days before starting quarantine for stud duty in Japan.

In between the third and fourth races on the same program as the Hollywood Gold Cup, I’ll Have Another was walked in the paddock and paraded on the racetrack.

In the paddock, jockey Mario Gutierrez climbed aboard I’ll Have Another for the final time and then rode the 3-year-old onto the main track. I’ll Have Another’s final appearance on the racetrack was greeted with a warm reception by the ontrack crowd of just 6,434.

Gutierrez rode I’ll Have Another in front of the stands and then into the winner’s circle for a brief ceremony. Fans lined the trackside rail and balconies of the grandstand and clubhouse to get better views and their own pictures. At times, I’ll Have Another seemed a bit anxious, appearing to want to do more than just walk around.

“I’m going to miss him a lot,” Gutierrez said after he climbed off I’ll Have Another in the winner’s circle.

In early evening, owners Paul and Zillah Reddam, trainer Doug O’Neill, and their friends and family gathered at O’Neill’s stable on the backstretch to spend time with I’ll Have Another.

“It was kind of sad in a certain way,” Reddam said of the day. “In another way, he’ll leave to go to stud in a way that’s healthy and happy.”

I’ll Have Another is scheduled to begin quarantine Tuesday. He will be sent to Japan later this month or early in August.

I’ll Have Another won 5 of 7 starts and $2,693,600. Purchased for $35,000 as a 2-year-old in training, I’ll Have Another was unbeaten in four starts this year – the Robert Lewis Stakes in February, the Santa Anita Derby in April, and the first two legs of the Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

He was scratched from the Belmont Stakes on June 9 the day before the race because of a tendon injury. Reddam said that he has not second-guessed the decision to retire I’ll Have Another because a comeback at the top level of racing from a tendon tear is far from a certainty.

“The horse had a small tear,” he said. “You can give them a year off, give them stem-cell therapy, and hope the fibers hold up. Sometimes, they hold up for a race or two.

“He wasn’t favored in any of the races he ran. In one sense, he was an overachiever for the length of his racing career. In the end, he wanted to beat you.”

Chas Glazer More than 1 year ago
The whole end to this unbelieveable run is just another example of how far the 'players' in the sport have driven the sport down...There is no question I'll Have Another had a tendon injury that foreced him to scratch...But, in the end he ends up going to Japan! The clueless breeders in Kentucky are letting another distance (1 1/8-1 1/4)type horse get away(Empire Maker; Sunday Silence)...The sport needs Classic Type horses not the Bodemeister types that rely on their speed to take them as far as they can... Paul Reddam 'Sold OUT' by taking the money from Japan instead of going into a partnership in breeding on the horse...Another owner taking the money and running.... Doug O'Neil is responsible for his horses and now will try to get his suspension appealed by tying it up in the courts...Just do the time Doug... And finally, Mario Gutierrez can't get regular mounts at Hollywood Park? All he did was win 3 Grade 1's: Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Santa Anita Derby...Oh, and he won the Grade 2 Royal Heroine...And he has to go back to Hastings Park! What a sad, pathetic sport horse racing is becoming because of the likes of breeders, Reddam and O'Neil....
Virginia McMahon More than 1 year ago
Japan? Isn't that where Exceller went and then was slaughtered because they couldn't use him as a stud anymore? You Know that's what started the Exceller Fund! Those owners really wanted the money way more than the horse. I have no respect for them. Good luck to the horse. I hope he survives!
Cheri Lockwood More than 1 year ago
Bye I'll Have Another will miss seeing your photos, sorry they're shipping you off to Japan, how rude of them. I hope your next care giver speaks English. They must have loved the money more than you, that sucks.
Gee More than 1 year ago
How many Millions did the dot heads pay??? Speculatures said IHA worth 8 mil. here
Cover2 More than 1 year ago
That was one of his two mounts sun,,,,......day in & out couldn't ride out of paper bag ! Ditto to most of comments.......one change coming: nominate to TC sign stmt/waiver b 4 scratch bel........inspect by outside team of vets....."we'll see how bad leg is "
ragoo More than 1 year ago
This whole saga with IHA stinks to high heaven. Does anyone actually believe that IHA was lame a day before the Belmont? They wanted to stick it to the NYRA and keep the horse injury free going to the breeding shed. Horse racing has definitely changed and not for the better!!!
Sean Ali More than 1 year ago
It was more than awkward, it was pathetic. Like adding insult to injury. Once again, his former owner managed to utter some heartfelt words for the media and fans to accompany his noble gesture. I can't help but feel that IHA will take with him a sense of betrayal, same as his fans.
Jerry More than 1 year ago
and to mhave REDDAM tell the public that scratching iha didn t have anything to do with money.....thats all BS BS BS ....only millions mmy friend, only millions!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sean Ali More than 1 year ago
I agree completely Jerry. I've already poured out my guts concerning Reddam & O'Neil on just about every page since the Belmont and got into some lengthy heated discussions. Now it's over. No more re-hashing. All that's left is sarcasm.
Joel More than 1 year ago
um, siyanara...and don't forget pearl harbor...say what's up to empire maker...J.Paul, I'll Have Another (drink, not a cookie)...Triple Crown 2012=NYRA farce
Laramie Bowcock More than 1 year ago
What an awkward note to end on.
PhiloSkinner More than 1 year ago
Ditto: I've followed Mario since his 'bug up here, but a real empty closing here :~(