Triple Crown hopeful I’ll Have Another had his customary 1 ½-mile jog and gallop Friday morning at Belmont Park.
Trainer Doug O’Neill continued to express pleasure with the way the Flower Alley colt is coming into the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes on June 9.
“He went great,” said trainer Doug O’Neill of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, who is bidding to become racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner and first in 34 years. “I’ll Have Another ate up everything last night, his legs are looking great and he’s got great energy. I loved the way he trained out there. He’s maintained his beautiful stride.”
O’Neill said he was delighted to have a portion of the morning set aside for Belmont candidates, a decision which was promoted when a loose horse came close to colliding with I’ll Have Another on Thursday morning.
“Awesome,” he said. “That was so cool. We got a chance to see a couple of the other Belmont hopefuls as well. They looked great out there. It was a great experience and I really appreciate Mr. [P.J.] Campo and the rest of The New York Racing [Association] people for letting us have 15 minutes of safe environment.”
O’Neill added that after speaking with the stewards, he hopes to be able to move I’ll Have Another and his stable pony, Lava Man, into the Belmont Stakes barn Monday after training. All Belmont Stakes contenders are required to be in the barn by noon on Wednesday.
“They’re letting us have Lava Man there, which is great,” said O’Neill. “The [horses] are used to being with their buddies. To be in a barn all by yourself…even though he could handle it, but to have Lava Man in there, that will be cool. That’s his little buddy.”
–NYRA Press contributed to this report.
I’ll Have Another/NYRA photo