In his first workout since winning the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), I'll Have Another breezed six furlongs in 1:13 3/5 at Betfair Hollywood Park April 19.
Trainer Doug O'Neill said earlier that he plans to give the J. Paul Reddam-owned son of Flower Alley one more work before shipping to Churchill Downs April 28 for the the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The work is likely to occur the day before I'll Have Another ships out, O'Neill said.
The latest drill over Hollywood's Cushion Track was the fifth quickest of 18 at the distance. I'll Have Another was accompanied to the track by multiple grade I winner Lava Man, now retired and serving as a stable pony for O'Neill.
“He worked alone and went great,” O’Neill said. “He got stronger as he went. He’s spot on now. He’ll have one more work at Hollywood on the 27th, then leave for Kentucky on the 28th.”
Though lightly raced with five lifetime starts heading into the May 5 Kentucky Derby, I'll Have Another is battle tested. He defeated top Derby contender Creative Cause by a nose in a tremendous finish to the Santa Anita Derby April 7. I'll Have Another also captured the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 4.
O'Neill credits I'll Have Another's athleticism for the chestnut colt's rapid ascension among the ranks of the nation's top 3-year-olds. While I'll Have Another is not a large horse, O'Neill said he expects him to handle the grueling 1 1/4-mile Derby distance as long as he avoids getting caught up in a fast pace.
"I think with I'll Have Another, he's got an amazing stride, he's got a stride of a much taller horse," he said. "He can gallop high and you can't hear him go by. He's just got tremendous air and he's got that something that you can't pick out of a pasture. He's just got that will, he's so competitive and there may be some horses that are more talented than him but, man, there can't be many out there that has his kind of drive to be first to the wire and be a leader ahead of the followers.
"So even in the Santa Anita Derby going at a mile and eight, he still had something left at the end there and so I don't think the mile and a quarter will be a problem," O'Neill added.
O'Neill said I'll have Another should settle just off the pace under jockey Mario Gutierrez. Ideally, he said he would like to see Hansen and Bodemeister "hook up and go toe-to-toe early. That would definitely be of benefit for us."
O'Neill said he expects Bodemeister, runaway winner of the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) for trainer Bob Baffert, to be the favorite in this year's Kentucky Derby.
"It is a wide open race but the way Bodemeister ran, if you were to repeat that I think everyone's running for second," he said.
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 his five trips to the post with earnings of $634,000.