Reality still hasn’t hit the Kentucky Derby winning trainer Doug O’Neill
Trainer Doug O’Neill has training, I’ll Have Another, in such a way that he knows his colt can maintain and sustain his form and keep at it while he is asked to go the distance whenever required just like he did on 5 May, 2012, when he wore down Bodemeister, who by no means was a mug on the field.
It took a special colt on the day to take down Bodemeister at full throttle beaming towards the wire, and that special colt was I’ll Have Another who saved ground and packed a real mean one to dash Bob Baffert’s hopes of winning the Derby.
With the Kentucky Derby done and dusted, the winning connections by default start dreaming about winning the Triple Crown – which is absolutely normal.
O’ Neill said that he gets “goosebumps” when he thinks about the possibility of winning the Triple Crown with I’ll Have Another, and when he was asked about the possibility of the Flower Alley colt to lift the Triple Crown since, Affirmed in 1978, he said:
“It gives me goosebumps to even think about.
“He’s just a special horse who I think has a chance to do something that hasn’t been done in a long time. He’s got such a beautiful stride and such a beautiful mind. He is just a special horse…Not only is he physically impressive, but mentally he is a tough son of a gun.”
J. Paul Reddam’s I’ll Have Another’s best performance as a juvenile was when he finished second in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes after breaking his maiden at first asking, but he fell away terribly to finish sixth in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes to winner, Currency Swap.
However, yet to be defeated in the new season, I’ll Have Another has been awesome on the Derby trail the big race itself.
Out of Arch mare Arch’s Gal Edith, I’ll Have Another won the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes convincingly to down Empire Way and Rousing Sermon.
He wasn’t loaded with prep races, as he had just one more to contend with before the Kentucky Derby, and that was the Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby – which really set the tone for him to win the Run for the Roses.