Preakness Stakes for Doug O’Neill and I’ll Have Another

I’ll Have Another waking up from a nap

2012 Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another woke up after an early morning nap in his stall on the backside of Churchill Downs.  He was shaking off the sawdust on his head and mane, he looked very comfortable and ready to take on the world.

Everyone there could tell tell that I’ll Have Another was ready for his afternoon flight to Maryland.  He will start in the Preakness  Stakes at Pimlico Race Track on Saturday, May 19.  You could almost hear the chorus of the Preakness Stakes song ‘Maryland, my Maryland’ (the state song of Maryland) around Doug O’Neill’s barn.

Trainer Doug O’Neill said “I am going to stay up here as long as we can. I don’t want it to end. If I could push the button to slow it down, I would have. It is just so cool.”

“The colt looks great this morning,” O’Neill said.  “He licked his feed tub, was jogging sound and had great energy. He looks fantastic.”

Seven of the Kentucky Derby runners are considering to the Preakness. Decisions on whether they will compete at Pimlico Race Track are expected to be made by owners and trainers during the next week.

The group of runners that could continue on from the Derby on to the Preakness Stakes includes Bodemeister, 2nd; Went the Day Well, 4th; Creative Cause, 5th; Liaison, 6th; betting favorite Union Rags, 7th; Hansen, 9th and Optimizer, 11th.

There are seven possible new faces we may see starting in the Preakness: Cozzetti, trained by Dale Romans, who saddled the 2011 Preakness winner, Shackleford; the top two finishers in the Derby Trial, Hierro and Paynter; Jerome Stakes winner The Lumber Guy and Sagamore Farm’s stakes-placed colt Tiger Walk, Pretension and Brimstone Island, the winner and runner-up from the Canonero II Stakes Saturday at Pimlico.

Canonero II was a Venezuelan-based colt who won the 1971 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Trainer Juan Arias, jockey Gustavo Avila and Pedro Baptista, son of the owner, were on hand to present the trophy to the winning connections.  In 2009, Canonero II’s jockey joined Kentucky Derby Tours to see his first Derby since winning the race.  He was honored in a ceremony at the Galt House Hotel where he added his handprints to the exhibit of winning Kentucky Derby jockeys.