Dr. Barry Eisaman and his wife, Shari, are hoping that I'll Have Another will help them complete a personal Triple Crown this weekend. If the chestnut colt captures the May 19 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the couple will have broken, prepared for racing, and/or sold horses that have won each of the trio of classic races.
Representing their employee, Victor Davila, the Eisamans sold I’ll Have Another for $35,000 to Dennis O’Neill at the 2011 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. spring sale of 2-year-olds in training. Earlier this month, the 3-year-old son of Flower Alley rolled to a 1 1/2-length upset victory in the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I). Last year, Ruler On Ice, which the Eisamans broke and prepared for racing, defeated Stay Thirsty by three-quarters of a length in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Shari Eisaman watched I’ll Have Another’s Kentucky Derby victory on television at home in Florida. Her husband caught the action on television in a restaurant in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson international airport. He was headed to Maryland, where the couple will offer more than 30 horses in their Eisaman Equine consignment at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training May 21-22.
“Barry never gets excited,” Shari Eisaman said. “He’ll smile every now and then; He’s the most low-key person I know; we’re quite the opposites.”
During and immediately after the Derby, “I was just freaking out,” she said. “When the gates opened, (jockey) Mario (Gutierrez) put I’ll Have Another in perfect position. I was totally impressed; he was doing everything right. Then I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! He could win this race!’ I had to sit down because my heart was up in my ears. I thought I was going to pass out.
“It was the most unbelievable feeling,” Shari Eisaman continued. “It was almost if you heard a knock on your front door, opened the door, and it was Jesus. Nobody understands it until they’ve felt it, too. And to think there are only 138 times it could have happened … it was huge.”
Davila, who is the Eisamans’ head rider and assistant, purchased I’ll Have Another for $11,000 from Brookdale Sales, agent, at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling auction. The couple supervised the colt’s final preparations for the OBS spring sale.
“Victor brought him to our farm probably 45 days or two months before the spring sale,” Shari Eisaman said. “We started breezing him and sending him through the starting gate, doing all the stuff you do to make them saleable.”
I’ll Have Another “was really smart and he moved really well,” Eisaman remembered. “We have a website that has galloping videos, and he was a one-take horse. The first time he went around for his video he was beautiful and perfect. He was almost like a trained dog. He was a horse that seemed to be born knowing everything. You didn’t really have to teach him anything. He could do it on his own.”
Physically, I’ll Have Another didn’t dazzle.
“He wasn’t the biggest horse,” Eisaman said. “He had a really short tail; it looked like one of foals in the paddock when he was a baby had chewed it off. He also was a little long in the pasterns. But he always had a good way of moving and a big, long walk.”
During the under tack show prior to the OBS auction, I’ll Have Another worked an eighth of a mile in :10 2/5.
“He just floated over that track,” Eisaman said. “Because he was such a pretty mover in his video, everybody came to look at him. We showed him more than any other horse in our consignment. We probably showed him 100 times and the other horses averaged 40 times.”
But not everybody liked what they saw when they took a closer look at I’ll Have Another.
“He wasn’t the biggest, fanciest horse in the barn and people want something that looks like a movie star,” Eisaman said. “You had to use your imagination with him and look at him and realize that he was going to grow a little more and mature. Even though he worked plenty fast, a lot of buyers want a horse that goes :10 flat and is the fastest in the sale. He wasn’t perfect physically and he was by Flower Alley, who wasn’t that hot. He was just a nice, little professional kind of horse that we thought would fit a lot of people’s shedrows.”
The Eisamans had appraised I’ll Take Another’s value at around $50,000, so his final OBS sale price “was a little disappointing,” Shari Eisaman said. “But he got in the right hands. He needed time and they did right by the horse. That’s pretty important.”
Bred in Kentucky by Harvey Clark and out of the Arch mare Arch’s Gal Edith, I’ll Have Another is trained by Doug O’Neill and owned by Reddam Racing. The colt has won four of his six career races while earning $2,093,600. He has not lost this year, posting victories in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) prior to winning the Run for the Roses.
Shari Eisaman is pleased that Davila is getting recognition for his role in I’ll Have Another’s development.
“He’s such a nice man and a hard worker; he has never missed a day of work in his life,” she said. “He drives around in the same little old truck that he’s had for a long time and he saves his money, putting it back into horses. He’s a legal immigrant and this year he qualifies to study and take the test to become a U.S. citizen. He’s a good guy who is sort of like family to us now.”
The Eisamans plan to attend the Preakness at Maryland's Pimlico Race Course. The track is a short drive away from Timonium, where the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale is held.
“Doug O’Neill knows what he is doing,” Shari Eisaman said. “We’re just going to sit back and see what happens.”