Trainer Doug O’Neill is hoping that I’ll Have Another can replicate his 1½-length victory at Pimlico next weekend with a chance to capture the Triple Crown three weeks later in the Belmont Stakes. A full field of 14 is expected for the 1 3-16-mile Preakness, a sign that not everyone finds the Derby winner all that intimidating.
“In this day and age, people aren’t going to be put off at taking a shot in the Preakness,” said Graham Motion, who won last year’s Derby with Animal Kingdom and trains Went the Day Well, fourth in this year’s Derby. “It’s going to take a lot to intimidate people not to come back in the Preakness.”
Went the Day Well will test I’ll Have Another again.
O’Neill singled out Bodemeister and Went the Day Well as two rivals that “would be scary.”
Went the Day Well was slow getting out of the gate and fell several lengths back going into the first turn in the Derby.
“With a clear trip, he could be more of a factor,”
Bodemeister set a blistering early pace in the Derby only to be caught in the final 100 yards by I’ll Have Another and settled for second.
Liaison was sixth.
Five-time Preakness winner Bob Baffert planned to confirm his duo’s status this weekend after returning to Churchill Downs from his base in California.
Last year, Shackleford finished fourth in the Derby, then defeated Animal Kingdom by a half-length to win the Preakness.
Pimlico oddsmaker Frank Carulli has indicated that if Bodemeister runs, he would make him the favorite over the Derby champ.