Updated on 05/10/2012 2:07PM

Kentucky Derby 2012: I’ll Have Another leaving for Preakness on Monday

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Tom Keyser
Trainer Doug O'Neill (left) visits with I'll Have Another on Sunday, the day after his win in the Kentucky Derby. I'll Have Another will ship to Pimlico on Monday for the Preakness.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Less than 48 hours after his victory in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, I’ll Have Another will travel to Baltimore to begin preparations for the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, on May 19 at Pimlico.

Doug O’Neill, trainer of I'll Have Another, on Sunday morning said I’ll Have Another came out of his Derby victory in good shape and would fly to Baltimore on Monday. As such, he will be the first of the Derby runners to head to Pimlico. That is in contrast to what has become the recent norm, with horses remaining at Churchill Downs until the Wednesday prior to the Preakness.

O’Neill, however, wants to get I’ll Have Another familiarized with the track at Pimlico. That will no doubt be of great benefit to Pimlico, which often does not have the Derby winner arrive until just days before the race.

I’ll Have Another will be attempting to become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to sweep the Triple Crown, which concludes with the Belmont Stakes on June 9.

O’Neill, his brother, Dennis, and owner Paul Reddam on Sunday morning were all still trying to comprehend what had happened only 14 hours earlier.

“Crazy, isn’t it? Don’t wake me up,” Doug O’Neill said. “Can you believe that?”

[All-sources Kentucky Derby handle sets record]

“When I woke up this morning, I honestly thought I was having a dream. Really,” said Dennis O’Neill, who purchased I’ll Have Another at auction for Reddam for $35,000 and got a 5 percent ownership share of the horse as a commission. “I’m like, no way these schmucks won the Derby.”

“After the race, it’s like you’re in a vortex,” Reddam said. “This morning, it feels a little more real.”

As of Sunday morning, far fewer than half the 20 horses who ran in the Derby were likely to come back in the Preakness. Bodemeister, who finished second, is likely to run as are Creative Cause (fifth) and Hansen (ninth).

Bob Baffert, who trains Bodemeister, said, “Usually I’m upset at finishing second, but I’m proud of the performance he put on.”

“I didn’t tout my horse all week, because I wanted to try and steal it,” Baffert said. “We almost got away with it. I was hoping for an outside draw. With an inside draw, we had to go.

“I’m going to wait until next week to decide what to do with him. If he tips me off, we’ll go. I thought Bodemeister would be all hair and lactic acid after the race. But he charged his hay rack. He didn’t hide in the corner. He was pretty fit. I knew he was going to carry the mail.”

[KENTUCKY DERBY: Chart, order of finish, post-race videos from Churchill Downs]

Creative Cause was scheduled to fly back home to California on Sunday afternoon, then will train at Hollywood Park for 1 1/2 weeks before heading to Baltimore if all goes well, trainer Mike Harrington said.

“He’ll tell me in a day or two how he’s feeling,” Harrington said. “He came out of the race quite good, better than me.

“The California horses did great,” Harrington added. “First, second, fifth, and sixth.”

Other horses who could go to the Preakness, but are far less certain, are Dullahan (third), Went the Day Well (fourth), Liaison (sixth), and Optimizer (11th).

Graham Motion, who trains Went the Day Well, said winning last year’s Derby with Animal Kingdom made it easier to deal with the unlucky trip encountered by Went the Day Well, who had to check sharply twice in the first three furlongs.

“If we hadn’t won before, with the trip he had yesterday, it would have been tough to swallow,” Motion said. “I was amazed, watching the re-run, to see how close he came. Another jump and he’s second.”

Among those who did not run in the Derby but could turn up in the Preakness are Cozetti, Hierro, Isn’t He Clever, Paynter, The Lumber Guy, Tiger Walk, Zetterholm, and Pretension and Brimstone Island, who ran one-two in the Canonero II Stakes on Saturday at Pimlico.

Union Rags (seventh), who had a nightmarish trip, is likely to await the Belmont. Take Charge Indy (19th) is now off the Triple Crown trail with a chip in his left front ankle.

– additional reporting by David Grening, Byron King, and Mike Welsch