The Kentucky Derby winner has settled in at Pimlico while his trainer faces some questions — both easy and tough.
I’ll Have Another is working out well, according to trainer Doug O’Neill, in preparation for Saturday’s running of the Preakness. The horse is a champion, one O’Neill compares to another thoroughbred.
“I guess it'd be like being part of LeBron James’ family,” O’Neill said of training the horse (via the Baltimore Sun). “Watching him run around out there, it's just like, ‘Holy mackerel.’ ”
O’Neill praised Bodemeister, the horse who led most of the way in the Kentucky Derby and is the early 2-1 favorite, and knows I’ll Have Another will have to flash early speed in the Preakness, no matter what post position he draws in the 6 p.m. draw. The Daily Racing Form lists I’ll Have Another at 5-2 odds.
I’ll Have Another has it easy, though. He doesn’t have to answer questions. O’Neill, who threw out the first pitch before the Yankees-Orioles game Tuesday and has been keeping a busy schedule since the Derby victory, knows that his training record is under increased scrutiny.
“You win the big one and then people want to kind of go after you,” he said (via Philly.com).
Three times, he has been accused of — and denied — “milkshaking” horses, giving them a mixture of baking soda, sugar and electrolytes through a tube inserted in a horse’s nose. The practice is believed to combat fatigue.
“This particular horse [I’ll Have Another] has been through every possible physical exam, blood exams, urine exams,”O’Neill said. “I mean, they’ve done everything but pick him up by the hooves and shake his ears.”
Obviously, the trainer would prefer to talk about the Derby and the Preakness.
“I would love to sit down when everything calms down and address all the stuff from the past,” O’Neill said. “For right now, we’re just pumped and excited about the Preakness.”