I’ll Have Another Rallies To Win Kentucky Derby
I’ll Have Another Rallies To Win Kentucky Derby, I’ll Have Another looked like just another horse at the Kentucky Derby.Until the final furlong, that is.That’s when the chestnut colt – sold for a paltry $11,000, ridden by a rookie jockey hardly anyone knew and stuck in an outside post – blazed past highly regarded Bodemeister to win by 1 1-2 lengths on Saturday, beating one of the deepest fields in years.
I’ll Have Another stormed out of post No. 19 – the first winner from there in 138 runnings of the Derby – and bided his time back in mid-pack while Bodemeister set a blistering pace on a muggy, 85-degree afternoon at Churchill Downs.
“He’s an amazing horse. I kept telling everybody, from the first time I met him, I knew he was the one. I knew he was good,” jockey Mario Gutierrez said. “I said in an interview, even if they allowed me to pick from the whole rest of the field, I would have stayed with him, 100 percent, no doubt about it.”
Making his Derby debut at 25, Gutierrez got his chance to ride I’ll Have Another after trainer Doug O’Neill and owner J. Paul Reddam happened to see him at Santa Anita in Southern California.
“I don’t know if he won or not, but he really looked good in the irons to me,” said Reddam, who owns CashCall, a lending company in Anaheim, Calif. “I said, ‘We need to try some new blood.’”
It was another chapter in Gutierrez’s unusual route to the Derby winner’s circle. He followed in his father’s footsteps as a jockey, getting on quarterhorses in Veracruz, Mexico, at 14. After a stint in Canada, he eventually started getting noticed on the West Coast, especially after winning the Santa Anita Derby last month.
“Top trainers, top owners, of course, they’re not going to know anything about me,” he said.
Still, Gutierrez was largely a mystery to the record crowd of 165,307, who didn’t know 15-1 shot I’ll Have Another or the jockey had the right stuff until the 20-horse field turned for home. That’s when Gutierrez, who moved up between horses around the final turn, positioned his colt not far from the rail and set him down to run. (AP)