Doug O'Neill already has had a big year after Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) triumphs by I'll Have Another . But to finish the season off with a victory in the Breeders' Cup World Championships would be like "having front row center tickets to see (Bruce) Springsteen for six months out of the year," said the Southern California trainer, who is a big fan of "The Boss."
Among O'Neill's seven scheduled Breeders' Cup starters is He's Had Enough, who will tackle the $2 million Grey Goose Juvenile (gr. I) Nov. 3, the second day of the World Championships at Santa Anita Park. His connections, like I'll Have Another's, include owner Reddam Racing and jockey Mario Gutierrez.
He's Had Enough is 20-1 on the Juvenile's morning line, which lists him as the longest shot in the field of nine 2-year-olds. But the Tapit colt is highly regarded by O'Neill.
Comparing He's Had Enough to I'll Have Another at the same age, the trainer said: "He's probably a little bit more physically mature and probably a little less mentally mature. But he's equally as talented. We're very excited about him.
"He does things at the morning that make you say, 'Whoa! That's not normal 2-year-old stuff," O'Neill continued. "He's kind of been giving up a few lengths out of the starting gate (while racing), so I threw him into the deep end the other day by working him out of the gate with a nice 3-year-old sprinter. I thought he would probably get outworked, but at least it would set him up good to be into the race. But he worked heads up with that horse (going six furlongs in 1:12 2/5).
He's Had Enough, who has raced three times, kicked off his career with a half-length victory over Caballo Del Cielo in a 6 1/2-furling maiden special weight event at Del Mar Aug. 12. Then he finished sixth in the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf Stakes at the same track.
"Mentally, he hasn't figured it out yet," O'Neill said. "He's got a real attitude, and I think we've seen that in the afternoon. In his second race, he was making a big move on the outside and he wanted to be down on the rail. He's very strong-minded."
He's Had Enough is a happy, confident colt, according to his trainer. He also is very territorial and will run visitors out of his stall.
"He's a playboy," O'Neill said. "He's one of those horses that will rear up from time to time with the hotwalker and he'll also rear up with the exercise rider from time to time. But he hasn't done anything dangerous yet."
In his most recent race, He's Had Enough was 11th in a roughly run Dixiana Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland.
"It wasn't his fault and it wasn't the jockey's fault," O'Neill said. "He (He's Had Enough) just got 'pinballed' all the way down the stretch. He just had a real unfortunate trip; he had nowhere to go."
The Juvenile will be He's Had Enough's first race on dirt, following efforts over Polytrack and grass. But O'Neill isn't concerned.
"He trains like a dirt horse," the trainer said. "He has a tremendous stride and he gets kind of low to the ground; he really covers the ground."
In addition, "the racing is a lot more wide open on the dirt," O'Neill said. "It's not as tight as it is on the turf or on the synthetic. But his style is such that he wants to let the race unfold and then make a run, so he's always at the mercy of traffic. Hopefully, he can turn the tables with a clean trip in the Juvenile."