LOUISVILLE, Ky. — I'll Have Another caught Bodemeister down the stretch and pulled away in the final furlong to win the Kentucky Derby today.
Jockey Mario Gutierrez, riding in his first Derby, guided the 3-year-old colt ahead of Bob Baffert's Bodemeister and a late closing Dullahan to win on a fast track.
It was trainer Doug O'Neill's first Derby victory. He had never finished better than 13th in the Derby with two other horses.
I'll Have Another paid $32.60, $13.80 and $9. Bodemeister returned $6.20 and $5.60 and Dullahan paid $7.20.
I'll Have Another, the Santa Anita Derby winner, went off at 15-1 in one the deepest and evenly balanced fields in recent years to win by 1½ lengths.
The chestnut colt, owned by J. Paul Reddam, finished the 11/4-mile race in 2 minutes, 1.83 seconds in front of a Derby-record crowd of 165,307.
The 20-horse field was expected to see a fast pace set by Trinniberg. Instead, Bodemeister rocketed right to the front through impossibly fast fractions. That pace proved his undoing.
Turning for home, Bodemeister, sent off at 6-1, held a clear lead — as much as five lengths — but the closers were starting to find their best ride as he began to weaken. The 9-2 race favorite, Union Rags, was squeezed between horses at the break, later ran into more traffic problems and was not a factor.