Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - I'll Have Another, ridden by Mario Gutierrez, ran down Bodemeister to capture Saturday's $2 million Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. The chestnut colt covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.83.
I'll Have Another now becomes the only horse with a chance to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, a drought approaching 34 years. The second jewel of the Triple Crown is the Preakness Stakes on May 19 followed by the Belmont Stakes on June 9.
The weather for the 138th Run for the Roses turned out to be perfect. Mostly sunny skies with a few puffy clouds, no rain and a fast track. More than 165,000 were in attendance for the Derby.
Bodemeister went off as the 4-1 favorite in the 20 horse field with Union Rags at 5-1 and Gemologist third at 8-1. I'll Have Another, winner of the Santa Anita Derby, was 15-1 at post-time.
Setting the pace was Arkansas Derby winner Bodemeister and jockey Mike Smith. To their outside was Trinniberg and rider Willie Martinez. Union Rags, ridden by Julien Leparoux, was running near the back of the field after being squeezed at the start.
The top two horses continued to lead the field up the backstretch and around the final turn. Once again, Union Rags found himself in traffic much as he did last year at Churchill Downs in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
I'll Have Another was racing in mid-pack up the backstretch and began to advance around the final turn.
Bodemeister, trained by Bob Baffert, shook loose from Trinniberg and had a clear lead at the top of the stretch. I'll Have Another rallied down the middle of the stretch to catch the leader inside the furlong pole.
I'll Have Another caught Bodemeister yards before the wire and registered a 1 1/2 length victory over the favorite.
"I can't explain how excited I am," said winning trainer Doug O'Neill.
"The way he ran today I don't have any complaints," said Bob Baffert about Bodemeister.
Dullahan finished third followed by Went the Day Well, Creative Cause, Liaison, Union Rags, Rousing Sermon, Hansen, Daddy Nose Best, Optimizer, Alpha, El Padrino, Done Talking, Sabercat, Gemologist, Trinniberg, Prospective, Take Charge Indy, and Daddy Long Legs.
Owned by J. Paul Reddam, I'll Have Another picks up $1,459,600 million for the victory. The colt now has career earnings of better than $2 million with four wins in six starts.
The Derby was the third straight win for the three-year-old, all with Gutierrez in the saddle. I'll Have Another began 2012 with a 2 3/4 length win in the Robert B.Lewis Stakes and then won the Santa Anita Derby by a nose over Creative Cause.
I'll Have Another returned $32.60, $13.80 and $9.00. Bodemeister paid $6.20 and $5.60, and Dullahan paid $7.20 to show.
05/05 19:34:39 ET