The Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont is the combination that all owners, trainers and even horses want to win! You have to travel back quite a long time – to 1978, in fact – to meet up with a Triple Crown winner, but this year there is talk that history is finally about to repeat itself.
I’ll Have Another, as we all know, took the Derby and is ready for the Preakness to begin. Now, horseracing fans are getting excited, even though the ‘odds makers’ are saying there’s really no chance that I’ll Have Another can take home ‘leg 2’ because Preakness is far more challenging than the Derby. Hmmm…well, as always, I disagree.
Recently, n 2008. Big Brown was a horse who won the first two legs of the Triple Crown, only to give horseracing fans a shock when he could not succeed at Belmont. Now when it comes to Belmont, the ‘odds makers’ are saying that I’ll Have Another is a shoe-in – only the mighty Preakness stands out as the trial that this particular horse will not be able to overcome.
After the analysts went to town on the Derby, most were not impressed by the crop of three-year-olds who gave it their best shot. In fact, the only one that they spoke about was Bodemeister who finished in second place. And it was quite a pulse-pounding finish. Bodemeister is a sleek, stunning horse to watch and basically had the Derby win until I’ll Have Another crept up and passed him by in the deep stretch. Odd part is? Bodemeister’s run was almost unparalleled in Kentucky Derby history.
This is a horse who went the first quarter in 22.32 seconds; followed by a first half mile accomplished in 45.39; and, the first three-quarters of a mile done in 1:09.80, which gives him the fifth-fastest pace in Derby history. Supposedly it’s a fact that all ten horses who ran the first mile of the Derby in 45.4 seconds, “virtually collapsed.” With every single one finishing in 10th place or lower. Yet Bodemeister kept his pace and brilliance through the whole darn thing.
I’ll Have Another actually won with a mediocre time of 2:01.83 – the second lowest over the last 20 years. But as any football fan will tell you – it’s not a big deal if you’ve scored forty points in a game if the other team somehow gets forty-one.
One of the biggest parts of horseracing comes from the exhilaration that people show for the race, itself – the history. From spectacular horses to jockeys that are dressed to the nines, competing with rich “Real Housewives” who have donned the hats and spectacular garb for their moment in the spotlight – the Derby is really about being seen. Churchill Downs is the home of fashion, and the ‘who’s who of the South’ when the horses race around that track, but it almost seemed as if I’ll Have Another was pointing his nose up in the air at Bodemeister and all the ‘ritzy’ onlookers, telling them that a regular horse who had “not a chance in heck” could bring home that trophy and say, “In your face, homies!”
More and more information comes out about this horse ‘with an attitude.’ And I really mean that. In fact, people are starting to fall in love with his slightly snippy attitude as much as they fell in love with Seabiscuit’s sweet demeanor.
Owner and jockey both comment on the fact that I’ll Have Another loves to ride in his plane to his next stop, leaving the plane searching for the cameras that should be there snapping his photograph. He’s getting involved in the ‘celebrity’ status it seems – and on a horse, anyway, it is actually quite endearing.
I’ll Have Another is a beautiful chestnut colt who is already at Pimlico Race Course for a race that’s not scheduled until May 19th. Apparently he’s getting ingrained in his environment and is going to be working his tail off in order to say “In Your Face!” once again to all those naysayer’s out there. And you’re gonna’ love this…I’ll Have Another and five of his stable mates actually received a police escort from the airport to Pimlico – just like a real star should.
The assistant trainer, Jack Sisterson, commented on the fact that this particular horse loves to fly. “His ears were pricked. We were getting a police escort and there were people in the streets chanting, ‘I’d love another!’ (Eat your heart out Robert Pattinson) The trainer says: “He knows that’s him. His ears were pricked and he’s bobbing his head, as if to say: ‘Yeah, that’s me.’”
This is the earliest arrival for a horse to a race but the plan was apparently discussed by one and all, with Sisterson saying that, “the more time here to get used to the surface, the better for him.”
Anther trait that I’ll Have Another shares with the Twilight mega-hunk who can’t get away from the cameras is security. Instead of staying in Stall 40, which is the traditional home of the Derby winner, I’ll Have Another was placed into a different barn and stall in order to keep fans away from him while he was being trained.
This 15-1 shot is now headline news, and more than anything fans are hoping that I’ll Have Another becomes that Triple Crown winner that they’ve waited so long to see.
It was in Louisville where the colt’s owner, J. Paul Reddam, reserved the 25th floor of a hotel and walked into the room of over a hundred people with a big wide smile on his face and a newspaper over his head. The big, bold headline read: “I’ll have Another” – and people once again cheered for a horse that no one thought would ever reach that finish line.
Although Bodemeister is the mountain that I’ll Have Another must climb in order to make his and all the horseracing fans dreams come true, I have a feeling he will. He may not be the fastest – he may not be the prettiest – but he is certainly the most determined. And, if anything, to be ‘King’ in your sport the one thing you must have is attitude!
I’m routing for you!
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