I’ll Have Another Settles In
The journey from Kentucky to Maryland is complete and I’ll Have Another is already getting comfortable at Pimlico Race Course. Arriving on Monday, 12 Days before the Preakness, makes I’ll Have Another the earliest Kentucky Derby winner to arrive since Monarchos left Louisville four days after the race in 2001. Trainer Doug O’Neil opted not to waste anytime because he thinks his colt will benefit by warming up to the surface and getting used to his new surroundings. You can’t blame a first time Kentucky Derby winning team for being a little anxious, plus who’s to say that the extra days in Baltimore will work against his chances of winning the second leg.
Regardless, our Kentucky Derby winner has arrived at the Preakness Stakes and the training for Another has already begun. As of this morning, I’ll Have Another was officially up and at it for the very first time since touching down in the Old Line State. According to Jack Sisterson, assistant to Trainer Doug O’Neil, the exercise regimen began on the lighter side with about a 20 minute walk. The most encouraging news for our Kentucky Derby winner is that he’s feeling good and not showing any ill effects after the win. A quick turn around after a race of that magnitude can make you wonder if he emptied the tank so when you’re seeing a fantastic response it’s a very encouraging sign and gets you focused on getting back to work.
Things are scheduled to pick up a little bit tomorrow but a serious training session is not expected until after Trainer Doug O’Neil arrives from California later this week, possibly as early as Thursday. There’s work to be done but there’s always energy to save. In a strategy unlike most, trainer Doug O’Neil also opted to stable his colt in a barn not normally occupied by the Kentucky Derby winner. Instead of the traditional and regular stall inside the Preakness Barn, I’ll Have Another is resting in Barn D – Stall 17 next door to the Preakness Stakes Barn. There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of minor details and this should make it obvious that Team I’ll Have Another is preparing with high expectations and the intent to win.
Since 2004, when Smarty Jones made it two consecutive years that the Kentucky Derby winner made the Triple Crown a serious conversation, Big Brown is the only horse to have won both legs. While I’ll Have Another is targeting to become the first since 2008, 13 likely contenders will be standing in his way. The Preakness Stakes field is limited to a total of 14 horses and so far all indications point towards a full house filing into the starting gate on May 19.
Throwing their hat into the ring for certain today was trainer Mike Harrington on behalf of Creative Cause and Trainer Graham Motion on behalf of Went the Day Well. Creative Cause returned to California the day after the Kentucky Derby but has shown his trainer that he returned in good order and appears ready for the next race. Went the Day Well on the other hand is already in the area. Opting to settle at nearby Fair Hill Training Center gives his connections plenty of time before they will need to make the short trip to Pimlico.
As the week presses on their will more confirmations to come. For now here’s a quick look at those that are currently listed as: Probable 2012 Preakness Starters.
Written by: Little Brink