Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner I'll Have Another completed his major preparation for the 2012 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with a six-furlong drill at Betfair Hollywood Park April 27.
The son of Flower Alley was timed in 1:13 4/5, breezing, over Hollywood's Cushion Track. It was the seventh fastest of 22 workouts at the distance on the morning.
"He worked fantastic," trainer Doug O'Neill said afterward. "We're pumped up and heading to Kentucky tomorrow."
O'Neill said he expects to have I'll Have Another on the Churchill Downs track for the first time on the morning of April 29.
I'll have Another, working with stablemate Liberal Arts behind him, broke off at the eighth pole and completed his move on the backstretch at the half-mile pole. He galloped out well and looked strong throughout, O'Neill said. Clockers credited him with a one-mile gallop-out in 1:41.
"He couldn't have worked any better," O'Neill said. "We just want to keep going forward."
Liberal Arts, a 4-year-old that was most recently third in an allowance race at Santa Anita Park April 7, was timed in 1:15 2/5.
Owned by J. Paul Reddam, I'll have Another defeated top Derby contender Creative Cause by a nose in an exciting Santa Anita Derby April 7. He also won of the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 4.
The chestnut colt returned to training with a six-furlong workout in 1:13 3/5 at Hollywood April 19 and underwent extracorporeal shock wave therapy on his back the following day. O'Neill said it was something his veterinarian had recommended to improve blood flow in the region after I'll Have Another experienced some tightness. He said the horse is doing fine.
O'Neill is returning to the Kentucky Derby with a starter for the first time since 2007, his only prior experience. That year, he entered a pair of outsiders owned by Reddam, Great Hunter and Liquidity. They finished 13th and 14th, respectively. He returns with a horse that should be one of several leading contenders.
"There's no better feeling in the world," O'Neill said. "It really is the greatest two minutes in sports."
I'll Have Another was bred in Kentucky by Harvey Clarke. The $35,000 2-year-old purchase is out of the Arch mare Arch's Gal Edith. I'll Have Another heads into the Derby with three wins and a second in five starts with earnings of $634,000.