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SANTA ANITA DERBY WINNER I’LL HAVE ANOTHER WINS KENTUCKY DERBY, BECOMES 16TH S.A. DERBY HORSE TO TAKE THE ‘RUN FOR THE ROSES’ AT CHURCHILL DOWNS
ARCADIA, Calif. (May 6, 2012)—I’ll Have Another, winner of the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 7, electrified the racing world by winning the world’s most famous race, the Kentucky Derby, on Saturday. Owned by Paul and Zillah Reddam, trained by Doug O’Neill and ridden by Mario Gutierrez, I’ll Have Another ran down pace setting favorite Bodemeister to win by 1 ½ lengths while paying $32.60 to win. He got the 1 ¼ miles in 2:01.83.
At the behest of O’Neill’s brother, Dennis, Reddam purchased the colt for $35,000 at a 2-year-old in training sale in Ocala, Fla., in April of 2011.
Prior to winning the Santa Anita Derby at 4-1, I’ll Have Another won Santa Anita’s Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 4 at odds of 43-1.
A Kentucky-bred son of Flower Alley, out of the Arch mare Arch’s Gal Edith, I’ll Have Another became the first Santa Anita Derby winner since Sunday Silence in 1989 to win the Kentucky Derby.
In addition to Sunday Silence, seven other horses have parlayed victory in the Santa Anita Derby to the Kentucky Derby winner’s circle: Winning Colors (1988), Affirmed (1978), Majestic Prince (1969), Lucky Debonair (1965), Swaps (1955), Determine (1954) and Hill Gail (1952).
O’Neill, who donned a colorful yellow Santa Anita hat following Saturday’s Derby, was quick to praise his home circuit.
“Southern California, baby,” said O’Neill. “We’ve got a great circuit and this horse is proof of that. He broke his maiden last summer (July 3) at Hollywood Park and that’s where he trains. Winning the Santa Anita Derby was a dream come true and this (winning the Kentucky Derby) is just unbelievable.”
Gutierrez, a 25-year-old Mexican native, who rode I’ll Have Another for the first time in the Lewis Stakes, was riding at Hastings Park in Vancouver, B.C. a year ago.
“Paul suggested that I take Mario over to the Kentucky Derby Museum on Wednesday,” said O’Neill. “I was really struck by how attentive he was to how a lot of those derbies had been run over the years. He noticed that in a lot of those races, the winner got close to the lead on the run to the far turn without using too much energy and then really turned it on through the stretch.
“That’s the kind of trip we got. He rode a perfect race and I also think it was an advantage for him to get here a few days early and be able to ride some races at different distances. He had never been here before, but nothing bothers him.”
Saturday’s Derby, broadcast on NBC, also generated a good deal of interest in Santa Anita apparel.
“I had to delay my vacation this week by one day to come in and deal with all the ‘Doug O’Neill’ hat orders,” said Chris Crocker, manager of Champions! Gifts and Apparel. “The orders are coming in from all over the country.”
O’Neill, 43, has three Santa Anita training titles to his credit and was third with 36 wins at the recently concluded 2011-12 winter/spring meeting.
Four out of the top six Derby finishers were Southern California-based horses: I’ll Have Another (winner), Bodemeister (second), Creative Cause (fifth) and Liaison (sixth).
Racing resumes at Santa Anita in late September and the 2012 Autumn Meet will be highlighted by the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 2 & 3.