I'll Have Another: From Bargain to Contender
Photo: Benoit Photo
I'll Have Another

I'll Have Another   didn’t attract much attention as a sale horse, but he’s making a big impact as a runner. The son of Flower Alley ranks among the top 3-year-olds on the Triple Crown trail following his 2 3/4-length upset victory in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 4 at Santa Anita Park. At 43-1, he was the longest shot in the field of eight.

“We’ve been following him and enjoying the ride as part of his early life,” said Joe Seitz, whose family’s Brookdale Farm was I’ll Have Another’s early home. Bred by Harvey Clarke, the chestnut colt was foaled and raised at the Central Kentucky nursery.

“He was intelligent and a great horse to be around,” Seitz said. “Some horses just seem to make life harder on themselves, but he wasn’t one of them. He looked after himself quite well. He was very athletic and had a real nice walk, but he was a little immature at sale time."

Consigned by Brookdale Sales to the Keeneland September yearling auction, I’ll Have Another brought only $11,000.

“It was a little disappointing, but it kind of goes back to his being a little bit behind in his (physical) development,” Seitz said.

Victor Davila purchased I’ll Have Another as a pinhooking prospect and the colt wound up in Eisaman Equine’s consignment at the 2011 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. spring sale of 2-year-olds in training. Davila is the head exercise rider for the Eisaman operation and serves as an assistant to Dr. Barry Eisaman and his wife, Shari.

“The year before, Victor had asked me to buy a yearling for him. I did and it sold real well (when it was resold as a 2-year-old),” Shari Eisaman said. “He saved his money and he went shopping himself at Keeneland in 2010. He had a limit of $11,000. He broke the horse (I’ll Have Another) at his farm and then toward the end of his (I’ll Have Another’s) training, he brought him to our farm. We finished him off for Victor by breezing him and going to the (starting) gate with him before the sale. When he got to us and he started breezing, we were like, ‘Oh my gosh, this little sucker can run.’”

During the under tack show prior to the spring sale, which was held in April, I’ll Have Another worked an eighth of a mile in :10 2/5.

“His video was beautiful,” Eisaman said. “When he moved, he had such good rhythm and he just kind of flowed over that synthetic track. He probably was the most-looked-at horse that we had at that sale and it was based on that video and his nice route pedigree; he is out of an Arch   mare (Arch’s Gal Edith). For a while, I was thinking he was going to bring a lot of money because everyone was swarming around him.”

But I’ll Have Another’s conformation wasn’t perfect and that limited his appeal to buyers.

“He was a little bit long in his pasterns and I think that’s what held him back,” Eisaman said. “It scared some people. A horse that is a little bit long in its pasterns will be a better mover than a horse that’s upright because it gives them more reach. But they can also get soft tissues injuries as they train and there can be a little bit of wear and tear on those ligaments that hold the ankle. But he never had those problems; he was very sound. He also was laid-back and he never did anything wrong.”

Dennis O’Neill, the brother of I’ll Have Another’s trainer, Doug O’Neill, bought the colt for $35,000.

“I’ve watched Dennis and he is a smart buyer,” Eisaman said. “He never overpays. He sees the big picture when he is buying a horse, so he forgives the little things. To be able to get a horse like that and pay only $35,000 is pretty amazing, really.”

Racing for J. Paul Reddam, I’ll Have Another has won two of his four career races while earning $184,000. Last year, he finished second in the Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar. 

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