/ Racing

Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another is set for a tilt at the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico

Updated: Saturday, 19 May 2012 11:36

I'll Have Another's connections will be hoping to take the second leg of the American Triple Crown with their Kentucky Derby winner
I'll Have Another's connections will be hoping to take the second leg of the American Triple Crown with their Kentucky Derby winner

Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another will bid to confirm the Classic form as he clashes again with Bodemeister in Saturday's Preakness Stakes at Pimlico.

I'll Have Another ran down Bodemeister in the stretch to win by a length and a half, but many American experts are expecting the places to be reversed this time.

Jockey Mike Smith came in for plenty of criticism after the Derby, with the considered opinion being Bodemeister was asked for his effort too early.

Trainer Bob Baffert has, nevertheless, stuck with Smith.

"He never took a step backward (after the Derby)," said Baffert said. "He bounced out of it pretty well. He's a pretty tough horse. He filled out nice and seems to be doing good.

"I think if he was going to bounce, he would have bounced in the Kentucky Derby off the Arkansas Derby. He is a pretty fit horse so he can handle what we have thrown at him.

"The horses that ran in the Derby are going to be the biggest threats. I really don't know that much about the new shooters. I really haven't looked at it. But when your horse is one dimensional, it is hard to worry about your rivals," he said.

I'll Have Another has won his last three races for owner Paul Reddam, who has had horses with Jeremy Noseda and Brian Meehan in England.

His trainer Doug O'Neill will be having his first ever runner in the Preakness.

"He looks fantastic; great energy," said O'Neill. "He's maintained his beautiful, long stride. We're just very happy with each day that goes by.

"The great thing about I'll Have Another is that his first step out of the gate is very quick. If Bodemeister is going to get an easy lead, we'll just push him. Somewhere in mid-race, hopefully we can take a little breather.

"Somewhere around that three-eighths (pole), we'll have to go after him and hopefully have a good stretch duel and end up on the winning end again."

Team Valor's Went The Day Well used to be trained by Ed McMahon but is now with Graham Motion and ran a fine race to be fourth in the Derby.

Motion's Animal Kingdom was second in the Preakness last season.

"I think if he had broken better in the Derby he would have laid a lot closer, like he did in the Spiral," said Motion.

"I don't think he's a one-run horse. Certainly, he's not a horse that needs to drop out of it."