For awhile I thought that my pick, Bodemeister had the Derby. He looked in good shape coming into the home stretch after leading the field. But, it was I’ll Have Another, ridden by Derby newcomer Mario Gutierrez and trained by Doug O’Neil, who rallied and passed him in a good burst of speed. Maybe he got a pep talk from Lava Man (who won more than $5 million after being bought as a claimer) in the post parade — who now ponies him on race days!
I’ll Have Another is bred for distance so his burst of speed at the end was right on form. He’ll probably have a strong showing in the Belmont, too. The only question mark about him has bee that he has been very lightly raced . . . and his recent shockwave treatment for a tight back may indicate a soundness issue. However, for a horse that was bought as a yearling for a scant $11k, he’s certainly brought in a good return on investment!
One side note – he is the first horse in Derby history to win from post #19.