Kentucky Derby Winner: What I'll Have Another Has to Do to Win at the Preakness

Thomas ConroyCorrespondent IMay 8, 2012

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05:  I'll Have Another ridden by Mario Gutierrez leads the pack down the final stretch during the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby ahead of at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Last weekend, I’ll Have Another outran a very large Kentucky Derby field and looked very comfortable galloping past the highly regarded Bodemeister in the final furlong to win the race by 1 ½ lengths. Even though he looked very good in winning the first leg of the Triple Crown, I’ll Have Another wasn’t impressive enough to scare off the competition from showing up at the Preakness.

Pimlico track officials expect a full field as none of the Derby participants have officially bowed out of the race at this time. All of this suggests that, two Saturdays from now, the Preakness could be a memorable race.

Let’s not forget that any horse can win any given race if all of the breaks go his way. Handicappers tend to over-analyze the Triple Crown races as they study the rest patterns of each horse, what track surfaces the colt has run on in the past and what post position they have drawn. After digesting all of this information, they still have not been able to define a definitive favorite for the upcoming Preakness.

 You have to take into consideration that a larger field at Churchill Downs often leads to the development of a slower pace at the start of the race, which allows less talented horses to remain in the hunt for the roses. The Preakness should be a completely different race as you can expect a faster pace that won't benefit traditional backstretch horses like I’ll Have Another.

If he can maintain a faster pace while still remaining in contention, then a bigger question will need to be answered:

Can I’ll Have Another have another stretch run like he did in Louisville?

Why not? This heralded three-year-old has shown that he isn’t rattled by the large crowds or the rising expectations of competing in a Triple Crown race. Usually, the best horse steps up and wins the Preakness.

That’s I’ll Have Another for 2012.