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I'll Have Another wins Preakness in close finish

By the CNN Wire Staff
May 22, 2012 -- Updated 1432 GMT (2232 HKT)
I'll Have Another charges up the side and past Bodemeister to score a dramatic win.
I'll Have Another charges up the side and past Bodemeister to score a dramatic win.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "He just keeps proving people wrong," says jockey Mario Gutierrez
  • Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another blows past Bodemeister on the home stretch
  • The horse is just one win away from the prestigious Triple Crown
  • No horse has won the Triple Crown in 34 years

(CNN) -- Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another surged to a surprise win Saturday at the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes, keeping its hopes for the coveted Triple Crown alive.

I'll Have Another went into the race with 3-1 odds, behind Bodemeister, the favorite with odds at 2-1.

Bodemeister took an early lead and stayed in front for most of the race. But on the home stretch, I'll Have Another broke loose, charging up the side and past Bodemeister to score a dramatic win.

I'll Have Another barred from Belmont?

Bodemeister came in second and Creative Cause took third.

Photos: Kentucky Derby hats

"I have to say there was a point where I didn't think we were going to get there," I'll Have Another owner J. Paul Reddam told NBC.

"Bodemeister was running his guts out. It was a fantastic race. I didn't feel confident we were going to get there until about 10 yards from the wire."

Purchased last year for just $35,000, I'll Have Another knows a little something about beating the odds.

The 3-year-old colt, with odds at 15-1 going into the Kentucky Derby, stunned the racing world by dashing past favorite Bodemeister to win.

Like at the Preakness, Bodemeister led for most of that race before being overtaken at the wire by I'll Have Another.

"I'm just numb; it's incredible," said I'll Have Another trainer Doug O'Neill, moments after Saturday's race. "We're thinking Triple Crown, baby!"

The Preakness, the second of three races that make up the storied U.S. Triple Crown, is run at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

No horse has swept the Triple Crown -- the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes -- in 34 years.

Only 11 horses have won the Triple Crown. The last was Affirmed in 1978.

Since 1990, just seven horses have won the first two of the three legs of the Triple Crown. Big Brown was the last horse, in 2008.

The Belmont Stakes is scheduled to be run on June 9.

"It's not me. It's just him. It's just all about the horse. He just keeps proving people wrong," I'll Have Another jockey Mario Gutierrez told NBC. "I'm so happy for him because he's just a great horse ... He has a tremendous kick."

Earlier, the build-up to the race was hit by controversy as the jockey who rode Big Brown to victory in the 2008 Preakness was ruled out of the Preakness after failing a breathalyzer test in New York.

Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux was replaced by Ramon Dominguez on long-shot Tiger Walk.

The 42-year-old failed the test at Belmont Park and was taken off all three of his scheduled mounts. Although he has not been suspended, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board is conducting an investigation.

Desormeaux has won the Preakness twice: once aboard Real Quiet in 1998 and again 10 years later on Big Brown.

CNN's Lateef Mungin contributed to this report.

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