I’ll Have Another Wins the Preakness Stakes
Going in to the Preakness Stakes it was common to analyze this race as a battle between two elite contenders. Those predictions were nothing less than spot-on as the battle went all the way down to the wire. As for the forecast that Bodemeister’s speed would be too tough catch, we now know that I’ll Have Another would not allow it. For the 3rd consecutive time, the colt that refuses quit in the stretch has won again so now the question is how far can he go?
Waiting to receive him is one of the grandest stages of them all, New York City and the final leg of the Triple Crown. The good thing is that there will be plenty of time to dissect his chances of becoming the first elite member of the Triple Crown club since Affirmed in 1978. So for now let’s look at how we managed to get by Bodemeister once again en route to a win in the Preakness Stakes.
As expected Bodemeister broke clean and headed right back to where he likes to be, right in front. The only difference between the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes however is that he was dealt a much easier pace to control. By the time Bodemeister led the field of 11 through the opening half mile he was cruising very comfortably a full two seconds slower than the Kentucky Derby – 47.68.
Meanwhile, I’ll Have Another was also racing as expected and stalking close in 4th. He looked as good as his connections could have asked and Jockey Mario Gutierrez was racing like a true veteran. By the time they both completed the turn for home, it was Bodemeister however that looked like he was going to turn the tables on the Kentucky Derby.
Being in the lead gave him the ground saving spot along the rail so when I’ll Have Another drifted slightly as Gutierrez switch leads it looked like it was Bode’s turn to win. However, after taking control and moving swiftly by Creative Cause who had been racing in 2nd the entire way is where I’ll Have Another put his deep stretch bid into another gear – full speed ahead. By finding another level I’ll Have Another pulled even and was able to get a neck in front at the wire.
Even though the Preakness set up exactly like many thought that it would, the burning question that couldn’t be answered is if I’ll Have Another could mount another come from behind win. The consensus was that he would make a run at it but the answer between whether he could or not is where the debate began. The morning line odds had it pegged as too tough and the post time odds agreed; Bodmeister 2-1 vs I’ll Have Another 3-1. But in the end the Kentucky Derby winner must have got the memo because he wasn’t ready to take a step back.
The 2012 Preakness Stakes was a thrilling race for the ages that came down to a struggle between a pair of horses that have shown absolute talent in the first two legs of the Triple Crown. Unfortunately for Bodemeister, his best still left him in 2nd place. To his credit and to Jockey Mike Smith’s and Bob Bafftet’s as well, there wasn’t anything that I can argue about their style, their strategy and their effort. They came to the Baltimore with the intent to win and Bodemeister gave I’ll Have Another everything he had.
For I’ll Have Another, Trainer Doug O’Neil, Jockey Mario Gutierrez and Owner Paul Reddam this monumental accomplishment and will to win takes the journey to Belmont where we’ll find out if it’s time for ANOTHER Triple Crown. Congratulations to I’ll Have Another and his connections, we wish you a safe return to your barn and look forward to continuing to follow your quest for immortality.
Watch out New York City, a new closer is coming to town!
Written by: Little Brink