05/07/2012 3:34PM

Preakness: Full field looks likely; I'll Have Another ships to Pimlico

Mike Kane/Maryland Jockey Club
I'll Have Another leaves Churchill Downs on Monday bound for Maryland and the May 19 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico.

I’ll Have Another, who won the Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs, flew to Maryland on Monday to get an early start on preparing for the 137th Preakness Stakes on May 19 at Pimlico Racecourse, a race that, like the Derby, should have a full field.

As of Monday, there were 16 horses still being considered for the Preakness. And though that number could shrink by next week, the Preakness does have a maximum of 14 starters, six fewer than the Derby, so earnings could come into play in determining the field. This year, the Preakness will allow up to two also-eligibles at entry time, too.

Unlike the Derby, which solely uses graded earnings for an oversubscribed field, the Preakness uses a three-tiered process. The first seven of the 14 starters are determined by graded stakes earnings. The next four are those who have the most earnings in non-restricted stakes. The next three – as well as the two also-eligibles – are based on lifetime earnings.

The field for the $1 million Preakness will be a mixture of horses exiting the Derby as well as horses who will be getting their first taste of this year’s Triple Crown. Besides I’ll Have Another, Derby runners most likely to come back in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness are Bodemeister (second), Went the Day Well (fourth), and Creative Cause (fifth). Dullahan (third), Hansen (ninth), and Optimizer (11th) are strong possibilities, too, while Liaison (sixth) could run there or await the Belmont Stakes, the final leg of the Triple Crown, on June 9 in New York.

Newcomers include Brimstone Island, Cozzetti, Hierro, Paynter, Pretension, Teeth of the Dog, Tiger Walk, and Zetterholm. Isn’t He Clever could be added to the list, but not before trainer Steve Asmussen and owner Kirk Robison confer. [List of probable starters]

Bodemeister and Paynter are both owned by Ahmed Zayat and trained by Bob Baffert, and both have similar, front-running styles, so it is highly unlikely both would run. Zayat has now finished second in the Derby three times in the last four years, including Pioneerof the Nile (2009) and Nehro (2011).

[PREAKNESS STAKES: Probable starters, contender profiles, latest news]

I’ll Have Another, who is trained by Doug O’Neill and was ridden by Mario Gutierrez, got a Beyer Speed Figure of 101 for his Derby victory. He will now seek to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. I’ll Have Another has won all three of his starts this year, the Derby following victories in the Robert Lewis and Santa Anita Derby in California.

“My theory is that to win races of this magnitude, everything has to go right. And everything went absolutely right,” said Paul Reddam, owner of I’ll Have Another. “Every day, Doug and I would end our calls by saying, ‘So far, so good.’ I give the trainer a lot of credit. He had a plan, and he stuck to it.”

That plan included a two-month gap between the Lewis and the Santa Anita Derby prior to the Kentucky Derby.

“We thought he was good enough, and we wanted a fresh horse,” Reddam said.

“I feel a lot of pride, for the horse, the jockey, the trainer,” Reddam said. “These are really working-class connections, top to bottom. It’s not like we had a $2 million horse – initially.”

Reddam said he never could have fathomed winning a race like the Derby.

“The first Thoroughbred I ever had was a maiden claimer who went off at 99-1 at Santa Anita, and I remember being so thrilled when Trevor Denman said the name of my horse,” Reddam said. “If that was unreal to me, you never think you’ll have a stakes win, let alone win the Derby.”

[FACEBOOK POLL: Will I'll Have Another sweep the Triple Crown?]

I’ll Have Another was joined on his flight Monday by Went the Day Well, who was a troubled fourth in the Derby. Went the Day Well will spend this week at the Fair Hill training center in Maryland, then go to Pimlico next week, according to Barry Irwin, chief executive of the Team Valor International partnership that owns Went the Day Well.

Bodemeister, Liaison, and Paynter – all trained by Baffert – are all at Churchill Downs. A decision on their status will be finalized early next week, and whoever runs in the Preakness would leave May 16. But Baffert’s initial instinct was go come back with Bodemeister.

“He was pretty fit. We knew he was going to carry the mail,” Baffert said. “I’ll go to California for a few days, then come back and watch them train.”

Dullahan, who is based at Churchill Downs, “came out of it good, really good, like he never did anything,” trainer Dale Romans said.

“We’ll give it a couple of days, let our emotions die down, and make a sensible decision,” Romans said.

Creative Cause returned to California on Sunday and will train at Hollywood Park the next week 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. He got a little tired, but you’ve got to be pleased with how he ran. He was wide, but he followed I’ll Have Another and just couldn’t outrun him.”

Harrington, Reddam, and Baffert all were thrilled with the showing of the California-based runners in the Derby, who took the first two spots, four of the first six, and five of the first eight.

“It shows that California has really good horses,” Baffert said. “It’s a good bunch.”

Of the potential newcomers, Hierro worked a half-mile in 52 seconds Monday at Churchill Downs, his first drill since capturing the Derby Trial nine days earlier.

Teeth of the Dog, who had been under consideration for the Peter Pan Stakes this Saturday at Belmont Park, is now likely for the Preakness at the request of owner J.W. Singer, trainer Michael Matz said.

Matz added that Union Rags, a troubled seventh in the Derby, was back at Fair Hill in Maryland. He is likely to await the Belmont Stakes.

Although Union Rags is fine physically, “He’s been lying down an awful lot today,” Matz said Monday.

The Lumber Guy, who had been under consideration for the Peter Pan or the Preakness, will run in the Peter Pan, trainer Mike Hushion said Monday after he saw the dust settle from the Derby.

– additional reporting by David Grening

2012 Preakness probable starters




Last Race


B. Baffert

M. Smith

Kentucky Derby, 2nd

Brimstone Island

W. Campbell

X. Perez

Canonero II, 2nd


D. Romans

J. Lezcano

Arkansas Derby, 4th

Creative Cause

M. Harrington

J. Rosario

Kentucky Derby, 5th


D. Romans

K. Desormeaux

3rd, Kentucky Derby


M. Maker

R. Dominguez

9th, Kentucky Derby


S. Asmussen

J. Leparoux

1st, Derby Trial

I'll Have Another

D. O'Neill

M. Gutierrez

1st, Kentucky Derby


B. Baffert

M. Garcia

6th, Kentucky Derby


D. Lukas

J. Court

11th, Kentucky Derby


B. Baffert


2nd, Derby Trial


C. Grove

J. Santiago

1st, Canonero II

Teeth of the Dog

M. Matz

J. Bravo

3rd, Wood Memorial

Tiger Walk

I. Correas, IV


4th, Wood Memorial

Went The Day Well

G. Motion

J. Velazquez

4th, Kentucky Derby


R. Dutrow, Jr.

J. Alvarado

1st, Patsyprospect


Ian GW More than 1 year ago
Wish Trinniberg would run back.
Tim Jones More than 1 year ago
i think if Hansen and Bodemeister get in to a speed duel i think it sets it up for dullihan
STEPHEN MERCIER More than 1 year ago
I wonder what Vegas odds are on IHA winning the triple crown? If anybody knows ...shout it out.
James Turner More than 1 year ago
Probably not as good odds as you will get if you just bet him in the Preakness then parlay the money on him in the Belmont. I say that because of the way people keep under betting him when he races.
Chas Backus More than 1 year ago
Bode will win the preakness ...perfect distance to romp then dullahan win belmont my choices
Chas Backus More than 1 year ago
doesn't mean ill be right lol but I been riding with them and picked them both to win blue grass n arkansas derby..............great horse racing to come this yr for three year olds one best crops ive seen in a while ...........
Charles Decker More than 1 year ago
It is all about the sun tan, the sunglasses and the million dollar suit and the gutless media for pandering to D Wayne, the butcher. Optimizer will be run into the ground, like so many others from that pathetic barn. Forget whether the horse belongs--it is not about the horse, it is about the ego driven trainer.
Larry Kaufman More than 1 year ago
i agree with you 100% d wayne has broken down more horses then anyone,and the media loves to kiss up to him
Maynard Runkle More than 1 year ago
When Lady's Secret showed she did not want to train and race, he retired her. He has a great record and is in the Hall of Fame. Every trainer, even the lovable ones with nice Southern drawls and cowboy hats have breakdowns. At one time Lucas had the most high profile horses running, so statistically it would make sense that he would be high on the list of successes and tragedies. I remember a horse named Charismatic he trained who he brought from the claiming ranks up through two jewels in the Triple Crown. Sure, he had an injury in the Belmont but still finished third. The horse passed vet inspections. Would you have advised him to keep him from his chance at the Triple Crown? I remember the year that he won all three jewels with two different horses. If you make calumnius statements, you should back them up with statistics.
Larry Kaufman More than 1 year ago
his name is lukas not lucas,there have been so many tanks prospect ,charismatic and many more.lukas is no longer a major player in graded races, he is 0 for 57 as listed in drf 05/05/12 and in believe the streak is closer to 0 for 100
Earle Forbes More than 1 year ago
I'll Have Another and another and another, can you say triple crown? Cant stop hollering till someone steps up. Mike, and Bob knows Bode is going to tire and they go to Pimlico hoping to be far enough ahead to last, hence their dilemma catch 22 To do that they gonna have to run faster than they did in Kentucky. With a two week recovery this baby gonna hit quicksand in mid-stretch. O bartender I'll have another please.
Larry Kaufman More than 1 year ago
if i trained bodemeister i would skip the preakness and run in the metropolitian handicap.winning the met would increase his stud value more then a win in the preakness and give him 2 extra weeks between races
Rob Beaudoin More than 1 year ago
Your theory is correct but it's a little early in the year to run against older no? This horse has run what 5 times? What's the rush? Let's hope they bring him back next year to run then..
Larry Kaufman More than 1 year ago
woody stephens did this with conquistador cielo and then won the belmont
john jenkinson More than 1 year ago
If the above list is indeed the horses entered, I think Went the Day Well is the horse to beat. he improved leaps and bounds in the Spiral and again in the Derby after being checked twice. He will be much closer to the pace early (a la the Spiral) and should sit a god stalking trip. I would toss Dullahan sine Pimlico is not a big closers type of track. Bode? Likely regression after life and death 2nd in Derby. Use "Well" with IHA and new shooter Hierro.
Steve Brady More than 1 year ago
That's not a bad strategy.
Rob Beaudoin More than 1 year ago
finally a voice of reason. He ran the best race in derby IMO. I would like him to skip preakness and run at 100% in Belmont though. But Dullahan would be a handful over that strip so maybe you're right.
Frank Anthony Williams More than 1 year ago
In order for us in our lifetime to see another triple crown winner, perhaps they should stick with the graded earnings formula for the derby for the other Preakness and the Belmont. Why should any horse who didnt run in the derby and have to run hard for a mile and a quarter get to arrive " Fresh" and have a chance to upset. This is why horses that have won the first two legs get nailed by a fresh horse in the Belmont because they didnt have to endure the first two legs. If 20 horses go in the Derby, the remaining 19 that didnt win(with exception of injury) should be the only participants permitted to enter. If the Belmont only has 5 starters and the Derby winner wins the Preakness, doesnt he deserve a shot ? Probably wont change but thats why I think its been 34 years since the last triple crown winner.
Eric More than 1 year ago
It's the fact that you have new Shooters in each race that makes it the test of a true champion. I wouldn't change a thing. We haven't had a Triple Crown winner because horses are bred to succeed at 2 yrs old and at shorter distances in the U.S.
Billie Rensberger More than 1 year ago
Yes, this is a fair suggestion and moves the triple crown into the 21st Century. Otherwise, so called "professionals" look like "fools" with their picks. See anybody with number 19 on top with advice from the "professionals," or previous records. I totally agree with your suggestion. Then, maybe the Derby and the following races would not be such a downer each years but the Super Group of horses who ran each race. Good idea. Billie Rensberger
James Turner More than 1 year ago
The tracks that put on the triple crown races and put up the big bucks for the purse money don't want the fields full of losers from the Derby. Pimlico and Belmont want the top horses from the Derby and fresh faces to stimulate betting interest.
Kevin Potts More than 1 year ago
If I'm not mistaken, Brad Free picked the Derby winner. I don't know how, but he did.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Brad Free has been an overlay for a long time.
Mark Hoeft More than 1 year ago
Brad Free also picked Tres Borrachos to win the BC Dirt Mile last fall. He's a huge west coast biased.
Eric More than 1 year ago
I agree about the West Coast Bias but Tres Borrachos ran a huge 3rd in that race at big odds. Capped off a $G Tri for me thank you very much.
Nick Arden More than 1 year ago
Please allow at least one DRF staffer to be biased for the West Coast when virtually everyone else at the Form has a decided East Cost bias.
Nick Arden More than 1 year ago
Because Brad Free had seen I'll Have Another in person, seen his great public workout on Big Cap day and probably surmised that the BSFs haven't been reliable at SA for some time. Anyone who has gotten close to IHA is impressed by him. Go back and read all the workout reports from last week on how IHA was looking and behaving.
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
I have seen ILL HAVE ANOTHER in person at track side in California several times , in fact , all 3 races thus far this spring . And I am still not that IMPRESSED as saying wowwwwwww ! Sorry , I am not knocking this Colt at all . I just truly believe afew Colts are MUCH BETTER . Yes , much better . The Derby final Beyer time was not that impressive to me . I was really guessing 103 / 104 , and thats with-out the steroids and drugs these days . If this same race ran 5 years ago , the Beyer figure would have been easily 109 / 110 and BODEMEISTER would still be running ............... well ya know what I mean . I would say that WHEN : UNION RAGS shows up for the Belmont Stakes : UNION RAGS and connections Have to find a way to WIN that race . IF NOT , then this would be one of the most upsetting DERBY HOPEFULLS to have come alone in a long long long time that just didnt run a lick . But Come BelmontStakes day , which I will be there , im going all out on UNION RAGS as it stands of now . I Truly Still Believe : just because im around this Colt alot and this is one fine Colt - and BRETTE has worked this Colt into TOP PRIME CONDITION ! I knew Brette was very mad at Leparoux after the Derby , omg very much so . So , I know UNION RAGS is ready . I just dont know why they want to duck the Preakness . But they have all the answers
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
YES ,, Brad Free did select ILL HAVE ANOTHER as the Derby winner . IN FACT - Brad Free had selected ILL HAVE ANOTHER as his Todays Best Bet in the SANTA ANITA DERBY ! Brad though really believes in the West Coast Colts , has for many years . Well , this DerbyBrad looks like a pro !