‘A brilliant horse’
I’ll Have Another’s riveting charge past the favored Bodemeister to win the Kentucky Derby as a 15-1 shot by 11
2 lengths was high drama of the razor-thin sort. And two weeks later at the Preakness Stakes, I’ll Have Another sped past Bodemeister on the final stretch again to win at the wire by a neck.
At Three Chimneys Farm in Versailles, Ky., where I’ll Have Another’s sire, Flower Alley, stands at stud, employees are high-fiving and pumping fists, overwhelmed with pride in the son’s achievements. Flower Alley’s date book is suddenly full, too, having jumped from 50 mares on his docket on April 1 to 138 today.
“All we have done for the last 30 days is take phone calls from breeders to breed to Flower Alley,” says the farm’s president, Case Clay. Flower Alley’s stud fee has also doubled from $7,500 to $15,000 since his progeny’s masterful finishes in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. It will climb higher still if I’ll Have Another, from the stallion’s second crop, wins the Triple Crown, although Clay can’t venture a guess, given that the last comparable figures are 34 years old.
And at Belmont Park, spectators have flocked to I’ll Have Another’s 8:30 a.m. workouts in the run-up to Saturday’s race, according to veteran turf writer Jenny Kellner, who works in the communications department of the N.Y. Racing Association, just to glimpse the plucky 3-year-old and his storied stable pony Lava Man.
“What makes him so exciting is his style of running,” Kellner says. “His past three races have all been by very narrow margins — just thrilling through the stretch. He’s a brilliant horse.”
Said Wolfson, Affirmed’s owner: “Maybe it’s just time. Maybe racing could use a star, and he could possibly be the star.”