05/17/2012 12:18PM

Preakness 2012: I'll Have Another will keep tabs on Bodemeister

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Barbara D. Livingston
I’ll Have Another goes for another blanket of flowers Saturday at Pimlico in the Preakness.

BALTIMORE – It seems that no matter what I’ll Have Another does, he has to do it again. He has won 4 times in 6 starts, including his last three, the most recent being the Kentucky Derby, in which he outran 19 other 3-year-olds.

Yet when he starts in the 137th Preakness Stakes on Saturday at Pimlico, I’ll Have Another is unlikely to be a shorter price than Bodemeister, the Derby runner-up. Nothing new there. Despite I’ll Have Another’s record, he has yet to be favored in any of his races.

Regardless of the odds, I’ll Have Another is the focal point of the $1 million Preakness. He is the horse with the most to gain in this race, and the most to lose, for a Triple Crown bid in the Belmont Stakes on June 9 hangs in the balance.

[PREAKNESS STAKES: Get PPs, watch the race live, and bet with DRF Bets]

The Preakness outcome will likely hinge on the tactics employed by trainer Doug O’Neill and, in particular, jockey Mario Gutierrez during the first half of the 1 3/16-mile race. Bodemeister, trained by five-time Preakness winner Bob Baffert, is the clear front-runner. But I’ll Have Another has plenty of natural speed in his own right, and, by drawing outside Bodemeister, can dictate how much pressure is applied to Bodemeister.

“I respect Bodemeister and his connections big-time,” said O’Neill, who never before has had a horse in the Preakness. “Bob has won five Preaknesses. Between Mario and I, we haven’t run in one Preakness.

“We’re planning on showing a little more speed. We think we have a colt who’s good enough and versatile enough to sit close, to not let Bodemeister have his way.”

There are nine other horses in the race, but their hopes likely will rise and fall based on the chess game up front. There are three likely scenarios:

◗ Bodemeister gets to the front, is afforded the opportunity to set saner fractions that he did in the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby, and leads from start to finish.

◗ I’ll Have Another sits right off Bodemeister’s hip, then, as he did in the Derby, proves the superior horse in the stretch run.

◗ Bodemeister and I’ll Have Another engage in a furious, Pyrrhic battle that leaves both vulnerable to the late-runners.

“If Doug doesn’t go after Bodemeister, I don’t know who will,” Mike Harrington, the trainer of Creative Cause, said Thursday morning.

“Everyone is hoping someone goes with Bodemeister. Maybe if Bodemeister goes in 47,” Harrington said, regarding the opening half-mile split, “we can lay close and outkick him.”

Though this is the first time Gutierrez has competed in races of this magnitude, he has proven himself coolly capable. In the Santa Anita Derby, he waited patiently while Creative Cause rocketed up inside of I’ll Have Another, careful not to move too soon. And in the Kentucky Derby, Gutierrez turned in a flawless ride, keeping I’ll Have Another in the clear, and avoiding the torrid pace up front.

“He’s programmed in a calm, confident way,” O’Neill said.

“It’s going to be a tough spot. I don’t see any reason why he can’t repeat, based on his current form,” O’Neill said. “The beauty of I’ll Have Another is that he has a tremendous first step out of the gate. He could be right up on the pace, but if it’s a hot and heavy pace he can lay off, like he did in the Derby. Hopefully we can again come out on the winning end.”

I’ll Have Another has spent more than a week at Pimlico, arriving two days after the Derby. He appears to be thriving. On Thursday morning, at the conclusion of his gallop, he polished off a quarter-mile through the stretch in 26.69 seconds, according to Daily Racing Form .

“It’s probably like being LeBron James’s family member, watching him run up and down the court,” O’Neill said. “Holy mackerel.”

I’ll Have Another, Bodemeister, and Creative Cause represent a California contingent responsible for three of the top five spots at the Derby. Creative Cause, who finished fifth in the Derby, was compromised by a wide trip under jockey Joel Rosario, who is back aboard.

“He only got beat three lengths, and he had the farthest trip,” said Harrington, who is also running a horse in the Preakness for the first time. “He got outrun, but he only got beat three lengths. It wasn’t Joel’s fault. He had no other choice.”

Went the Day Well finished fourth in the Derby. He broke a step slowly, then was forced to check sharply twice in the first three furlongs, causing him to lose more position.

“If he breaks, we’re live,” Barry Irwin, the chief executive of the Team Valor International partnership that owns Went the Day Well, said Thursday morning. “My immediate reaction after the race was that he ran a damn good race. But when I saw the blimp shot, and saw how he weaved through traffic and how fast he finished, wow.”

The other horses exiting the 20-horse Derby are Daddy Nose Best, who was 10th, and Optimizer, who was 11th.

Cozzetti, a winner of one of seven starts, was fourth in the Arkansas Derby in his last start.

Pretension is the only horse in the race with a win over the track, having captured the Canonero II Stakes on May 5.

Teeth of the Dog was third, and Tiger Walk fourth, in the Wood Memorial last time out.

Zetterholm has won three straight races, all against New York-breds.

The Preakness is the 12th race on a 13-race card of Thoroughbred races that begins at 10:30 a.m. Eastern. Post time for the Preakness is listed as 6:18 p.m.

The Preakness will be televised live by NBC, in a two-hour telecast beginning at 4:30 p.m. The NBC Sports Network will show two hours of the Preakness undercard, beginning at 2:30 p.m., and there will be a half-hour postrace show on NBCSN, beginning at 6:30.

The forecast from Weather.com for Saturday is for a beautiful day, with a high temperature of 81 degrees and only a 10-percent chance of rain.

– additional reporting by David Grening

 

Preakness Stakes (G1), Post Time: 6:05 ET Saturday

Purse: $1,000,000; 1 3/16 miles

Post

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

Last Race

Watchmaker

ML

1

Tiger Walk

I. Correas

R. Dominguez

Wood Memorial, 4th

30-1

30-1

1

Teeth of the Dog

M. Matz

J. Bravo

Wood Memorial, 3rd

15-1

15-1

1

Pretension

C. Grove

J. Santiago

Canonero II, 1st

30-1

30-1

1

Zetterholm

R. Dutrow, Jr.

J. Alvarado

Patsyprospect, 1st

30-1

20-1

1

Went The Day Well

H. Motion

J. Velazquez

Kentucky Derby, 4th

6-1

6-1

1

Creative Cause

M. Harrington

J. Rosario

Kentucky Derby, 5th

6-1

6-1

1

Bodemeister

B. Baffert

M. Smith

Kentucky Derby, 2nd

9-5

8-5

1

Daddy Nose Best

S. Asmussen

J. Leparoux

Kentucky Derby, 10th

15-1

12-1

1

I'll Have Another

D. O'Neill

M. Gutierrez

Kentucky Derby, 1st

2-1

5-2

1

Optimizer

D. Lukas

C. Nakatani

Kentucky Derby, 11th

30-1

30-1

1

Cozzetti

D. Romans

J. Lezcano

Arkansas Derby, 4th

30-1

30-1

 

Andrew Ross More than 1 year ago
Mike Smith/Joe Bravo exacta box, it doesn't get any better (2/7).
Andrew Ross More than 1 year ago
Teeth of the Dog, the Preakness Winner-2/7/9 with the field in the tri and super. This horse has improving numbers in each and evry race. He will sit 2nd behind Bodemeister and pass him in the strtech, the WORST case scenario is he'll finish 2nd. the 2/7 exacta box is a MOTAL Lock.
Andrew Ross More than 1 year ago
Teeth of the Dog is the Preakness Winner. 2/7/9 with the field in the super.
Terry Marshall More than 1 year ago
Mike Smith got blamed by many for letting his horse run free on the lead. Mike Smith will get blamed for letting his horse die under wraps after today. Bode's body chemistry is whacked out. The big one got away two weeks ago when he was primed and loaded to become a syndicated stallion in the making. Baffert's been selling Bode's condition all week which causes me to suspect he's blood-sludging. I don't think Baffert even knows if his horse will show up. They usually can't be found once they've loaded up and failed to accomplish the mission. But here is Baffert pushing Bode by showing up in Pimilico to salvage a syndication deal that fell apart two weeks ago. Expect Baffert to show up with Bode in the Haskell and then Bode will be free of his cruel master and show up in a kentucky stallion barn. C'est la vie Bodee! I won't judge you by your devious master. I'll Have Another looked good at the wire in the Derby with his ears pricked looking around for more. Ya gotta love that and O'Neill has suggested that with his commentary this week. It's likely that he'll win and it's likely he'll be the only one from this field who will show up for the Belmont. Then if that's the case, we have a Triple Crown horse. Dullahan might have the class to go a mile and a half and make him work. No others will have the natural ability to go 12 furlongs like I'll Have Another. He's a Distorted Humor on top with Arch down below. That's some hot classic blood in the mix. I had him two weeks ago and I'll have another one today. Him and the kid have destiny riding side-saddle with them. I can feel it in my old blood but not the way Baffert has sludged Bode's blood. I'm riding a natural high today.
st More than 1 year ago
Creative Cause-Went The Day Well-Teeth of the Dog Trifecta Bode and Ill have another disappoint and finish mid pack and Optimizer comes in last about 80 lengths behind
st More than 1 year ago
Future me thinks im an idiot
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
With Bodemeister maybe abit Fatigue : With Mario G really starting to feel the butter-flies : ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN ! I got word tonight that Motion is kinda down-playing Went the Day Well , that this colt has lost abit of his Appetite since arriving to Pimlico ! This has come from a very good sorce . The sorce that gave me reguarding Gemoligist . Yes , the Gem got injured during the race , but the Gem had the same kinda set-back as what Went the Day Well is having now . By not eating your full tube , normally shows up during the post-parad for those that know what to look for . JUST FOOD FOR THOUGHT ! Everyone - Good Luck in the Preakness . Im going Fishing
Ange More than 1 year ago
How do you figure Mario is feeling butterflies? He flew into Baltimore on Thursday and proceeded to win the 2 races that he rode that day! Mario is cool as a cucumber and IHA will win the Preakness. Go Mario Go! (and I'll Have Another, too!) All of us at Hastings will be yelling loud enough for them to hear in Maryland!
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
Because Mario is ! Not a bad thing to feel when your not sitting on Ill Have Another . Im not wishing bad for anyone . That is not my style . I am a true loyal thoroughbred family member too many . These people are all one big family inside - outside the race-track . Mario is sitting on top of the world - im happy for him . I like everyone that are good people that try their best to have good things happen to them . The mounts that Mario rides before the Preakness will be nothing compaired to when Mario heres the Maryland song post-parade . Mario admits that he plays the Derby in back of his mind over and over - which I believe we all can relate to that . Weve been doing this our-self for two weeks huh ! I didnt mean anything bad by my comment . Just What If ....................
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
Steinmann Family and Mike Harrington : its good to hear that ya brought many guest and family members along for the enjoyment of the Preakness . I wish ya all the best of Luck and fame . Its not how ya Win or Lose , but how ya play the game . Your connections have done everything possible to see that Creative Cause has been relaxed as much as possible and re-charged ! I believe your in for a fabulous VICTORY come Saturday . Even though your camp all knows how much I have liked Union Rags , your colt Creative Cause has been my West coast colt . And thanks for all of your kindness when im visiting out West . Harrington - I think its great how you have ignored the media when they come to you for statements . I like the fact that you dont look them in the eye ! They will be all over you come SATURDAY afternoon . I really believe so . GOOD LUCK
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
For all of you that are making such a big deal Preakness time reguarding Doug O"Neill about ( milk-shake ) : just so you know , Friday afternoon O"Neill got a call from the California Racing Board CHRB , and gave O"Neill the ( Green - Light ) to advance onto the Belmont Stakes IF Needed to ! Something that had O"Neill worried about . The CHRB is expected to review the courts ruling next week . O"Neill was informed that WHAT-EVER the CHRB decides after reviewing the ruling - O"Neill is Safe to move onto the Belmont Stakes if needed to . They did make a statement to O"Neill reguarding the ( milk - shake ) and drug charges stating : The HSUS is calling for Congress to pass the Interstate Horseracing Improvement Act : which includes a ( 3 STRIKE LAW FOR VIOLATORS ) . So for anyone that is hoping that O"Neill can not go onto the Belmont Stakes - well ya just lost your hope ! THIS IS A TRUE FACT ! Like -It - Or - Not , O"Neill is safe for now , and that is Great news for their connections .
earl More than 1 year ago
Humble And Hungry / ALL in the Preakness is a sure fire Preakness Win
Phil D More than 1 year ago
I'm an east coast guy but the west is the best this year, no particular order Bodemeister,Daddy Nose Best, I'll Have Another and Creative Cause