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I'll Have Another wins 138th Kentucky Derby in jockey Mario Gutierrez's Derby debut

In the money

Horse Win Place Show
I'll Have Another $32.60 $13.80 $9
Bodemeister $6.20 $5.60
Dullahan $7.20

$2 Exacta (19-6) $306.60
$2 Trifecta (19-6-5) $3,065.60
$2 Superfecta (19-6-5-13) $96,092.80

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — 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 11/2 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 Derbys — and bided his time in mid pack as 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.

Gutierrez took an unusual route to get here. He followed in his father's footsteps as a jockey, getting on quarterhorses in Veracruz, Mexico, at 14. After a stint in Canada, he started getting noticed on the West Coast.

Saturday he positioned I'll Have Another, a 15-1 shot, not far from the rail and set him down to run. "I know my horse was reaching every single step of the way, but I wasn't going to stop riding until I was passing the wire," he said.

His horse beat out several more highly regarded contenders and paid $32.60 to win, joining other recent upset winners including Mine That Bird (2009) and Giacomo (2005), both more than 50-1, and 30-1 shot Charismatic (1999).

I'll Have Another won in 2 minutes, 1.83 seconds. Bodemeister, the 4-1 favorite, was second, with Dullahan a neck back in third.

O'Neill didn't waste any time vowing that I'll Have Another will go on to the Preakness in two weeks. They'll be of the favorites as a result of this win and a catchy name. I'll Have Another has nothing to do with alcohol; it's Reddam's response to his wife's nightly query of "Do you want any more cookies?"

It's an offer the portly Reddam rarely refuses.

As for O'Neill, the trainer has made his name predominantly in Southern California.

"When you tell people you're in the horse racing game, they ask you, 'Have you won the Kentucky Derby?' " O'Neill said. "Now I can say, 'Yes, I have, 2012.' "

Union Rags, the 5-1 second choice, got pinched at the start and finished seventh. Gemologist, the 8-1 third choice, was 16th. Tampa Bay Derby winner Prospective was 18th.

I'll Have Another wins 138th Kentucky Derby in jockey Mario Gutierrez's Derby debut 05/05/12 [Last modified: Sunday, May 6, 2012 12:33am]
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