All those hats, all those mint juleps and all that anticipation — now we know who won the “Run for the Roses,” the 2012 Kentucky Derby. I’ll Have Another edged out Bodemeister and won the top prize in the first race of the Triple Crown.
It was tight until the finish. Bodemeister was in the lead and looked like he’d win handily. At one point he had a five length lead over his closest competitor, Trinniberg. He started to tire out at the end though, and I’ll Have Another (who was named for what owner J. Paul Reddam says when his wife asks if he’d like another cookie) came from behind and won the prize.
Jockey Mario Gutierrez spoke right after the win, saying of his horse, “The first time I met him I knew he was the one. I couldn’t have made it this far without him.” This is his very first ride at the Derby. He was in tears, and so excited that his family in Mexico and his family in America were both there for him. The win must be even sweeter, considering that the race was held on Cinco de Mayo.
Trainer Doug O’Neill (who promised his son a hot tub if they won) says that there is something about Southern California that helps out the horse. During his interview, we learn that I’ll Have Another was actually a modestly priced horse and has only run three times. He says there was just something about him, something his brother-in-law who picks most of his horses saw as well.
This, the 138th Kentucky Derby is held at the Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. After this we have the Preakness Stakes, run at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. Then the final jewel in the crown is the Belmont Stakes, in Elmont, New York. Congratulations, cookie horse!