I’ll Have Another was not the betting favorite in either the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness Stakes. That distinction went to Bodemeister. Now that I’ll Have Another has outdueled Bodemeister in both Triple Crown races and has a shot at a Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes it’s a pretty safe bet that I’ll Have Another will be the favorite at Belmont Park.
The team around I’ll Have Another figures it’s about time.
“Going into today, I thought this horse was a really, really good horse going in. And I think after today, he’s proven this is a great horse. He’s really a great horse. I think going into that race, we’ll have a fresh Union Rags and Dullahan ready for us,” said assistant trainer Dennis O’Neill.
“But the way this horse runs, they’re going to have a hard time catching him just the way he runs. I don’t think anybody doubts he’ll get the mile and a half. So we’re excited. I can’t wait to get to New York.”
Owner J. Paul Reddam echoed the sentiment.
“I think there was a common feeling from what I read inside that the horse won the Derby because he got the perfect trip. And if he didn’t get the perfect trip, he wouldn’t have won. So it wasn’t so much the horse as the way the race went,” Reddam said.
“I think today went at what I would call a reasonable pace. He didn’t have trouble, but he was certainly wide in the first turn. He shows that he’s the real deal. He’s a real race horse. He gutted it out.
“The other horse was not stopping. He had a bang up race. To come and catch him, how could you criticize that, really? The horse has done everything that we’ve asked of him this year, and he hasn’t had the most respect. He’s never been favored, and I think for those who follow the horse and bet on them, that will be pretty rewarding. I don’t know if that will be the case next time after today’s race.”
Reddam shouldn’t worry about that.