Trainer Doug O’Neill is no stranger to winning big races. But the California conditioner is still excited a week after his charge I’ll Have Another won the Santa Anita Derby (G1).
“What an unbelievable race,” O’Neill said this week on the Pass the Buck Radio Show. “We were confident going into the race but you never know until they run them. He showed up the way he had been training in the mornings. I’m still on Cloud Nine.”
Owned by J. Paul Reddam’s Reddam Racing, I’ll Have Another won the Santa Anita Derby in front of a large home crowd. According to O’Neill, Reddam extended an invitation to more than 1,000 employees at his company, CashCall, to attend the races and cheer on I’ll Have Another.
“The fan part of Paul wanted everyone he knew to come out to the races and root for I’ll Have Another,” O’Neill related. “Four hundred people took him up on it. He arranged a party bus with an open bar for transportation and gave them all $25 betting vouchers. So, basically a lot of the people that work their butts off for him were there arm and arm with him. I can’t say enough about the Reddams. They’re great friends and great people to be involved with.
“We enjoy the heck out of this business,” he added. “It’s a great, great sport.”
O’Neill plans to ship I’ll Have Another, a graduate of the OBS April sale, to Louisville on April 28 for the Kentucky Derby on May 5.
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Doug O’Neill/Benoit photo