I’ll Have Another must be getting sick and tired of these Johnnies Come Lately. First it was Bodemeister … never had a race as a Juvenile, but he quickly ascended the ranks to become the primary antagonist in the three-part melodrama that currently has even the most casual racing fan bubbling over with anticipation. Bodemeister threw everything but the kitchen sink at I’ll Have Another, giving racing’s new hero the full opportunity to be heroic. As we know, I’ll Have Another capitalized on those challenges to thrust himself ever nearer equine immortality … but it was not easy.
Now Bodemeister exits stage left, back to the opposite coast of where this drama will ultimately reveal itself, and to recover from the hard fought battles in Louisville and Baltimore. Back east, there is no time for I’ll Have Another to rest, as he will need to dig deep one more time to wear the crown, but without his main foil, the question becomes, against whom?
Like Bodemeister, Street Life did not begin his racing career until January, and the similarities between the two do not end there. They both only have two lifetime wins to their credit, one maiden race and one stakes race. Bodemeister entered his last challenge against I’ll Have Another with five lifetime races, as will Street Life when he challenges the Derby and Preakness winner in the 2012 Belmont Stakes. Bodemeister was sired by a Belmont winner, while Street Life is a son of the Kentucky Derby winner, Street Sense. Of course, Street Life is no Bodemeister.
While Bodemeister runs his competition off their feet with classic speed that leaves most that try to chase him gasping for air, Street Life lays in the weeds and lets those running fast early come back to him. If Bodemeister is the hare, then Street Life is the consummate tortoise. He hangs far back and waits, and then waits some more, until his closing kick can be revealed. Sometimes, this is the way to win the Belmont … wait, and then wait some more.
Trained by capable young horseman, Chad Brown, you never would have known that Street Life would be considered a threat in a Triple Crown race just a few months ago. Sent off at 22-1 in his career debut, a six furlong maiden race at Gulfstream Park, he fell far back early and could only rally past a few to nab eighth position at the finish. Sprinting would not be his thing. His fortune turned quickly though when he stretched out for a two-turn maiden race at Aqueduct for his second start. Who says you need early speed when you can close like this…
After rushing onto the racing landscape with that blistering finish, it would be straight into stakes racing for the Hidden Brook Farm and Magnolia Racing Stable runner. It wasn’t exactly winning the Arkansas Derby, but another impressive late rush to win the listed Broad Brush Stakes was enough to earn him black type, and the opportunity for bigger and better things. While the big boys of the Grade 1 Wood Memorial, would prove a little too much, too soon for Street Life, his return race in the Grade 2 Peter Pan demonstrated marked improvement against good horses. Sent off at 13-1 in a race that marked his first start with blinkers, and his first try at Belmont Park, he once again looked hopelessly beaten as the big field entered the stretch, before kicking in that massive closing kick he has...
Whether or not his closing kick will translate to a distance three-eighths of a mile further than he has ever run before remains to be seen, but just imagine if it does. “I think this horse is bred to run all day, and he trains like he wants to run all day, so I’m excited to get him to that 1 ½-mile distance and see what he does,” says Brown.
It’s just one more thing for I’ll Have Another to worry about during the final furlong of his quest to become racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner.