South California shipper He’s Had Enough galloped over the
Gulfstream Park racing surface Thursday morning in preparation for
Saturday’s $400,000 Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (G2).
“He’s settled in great, ate up and gets over the track well,” said
Jack Sisterson, assistant to trainer Doug O’Neill. “Now, the horse and
the staff have to get used to the humidity here.”
He’s Had Enough is owned by J. Paul Reddam, who visited the Kentucky
Derby and Preakness winner’s circles last year with I’ll Have Another,
who was named 2012 3-year-old champion at the Eclipse Awards celebration
at Gulfstream Park Jan. 19.
Mario Gutierrez, who rode the O’Neill-trained I’ll Have Another in
his two Triple Crown successes, has been named to ride the son of Tapit,
a $200,000 yearling purchase at the 2011 Keeneland September sale.
“Team Reddam is moving forward,” said Sisterson, the 28-year-old
native of Durham, Eng., who attended the University of Louisville on a
soccer scholarship and graduated with a degree in equine administration.
He’s Had Enough has been somewhat inconsistent during his six-race
career but has shown flashes of promise at times, including a debut
victory at Del Mar last summer and a close-up second-place finish to
Shanghai Bobby in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita in
“He’s just a horse mentally, if he puts his mind to it, can do
whatever he wants. You notice the blinkers (he wears),” said Sisterson,
who briefly worked for trainers Todd Pletcher and Eddie Kenneally before
moving to the Southern California circuit four years ago. “He’s a very
playful soul. I think over time he’ll grow out of that and become more
focused. The blinkers help him stay more focused.”
He’s Had Enough has worn blinkers for his last four races, including
an 11th-place finish in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland, his
second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, a fifth-place finish in the
CashCall Futurity (G1) at Hollywood Park and a distant third in the
Robert Lewis Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita.
“Looking back at his Keeneland race, he got a bad trip and was stuck
behind horses and had to check, as well as in the Breeders’ Cup. He had
to check behind Shanghai Bobby and he put in a good performance there,”
said Sisterson, who has worked for O’Neill for two years. “In the
CashCall, did he like the surface? We haven’t determined that, but we’re
not making any excuses for him. In the Bob Lewis, Flashback is a
talented horse in a short field. We had to take him out of his game to
put him up on the pace and use him a little more in the early stages of
the race, but he came out of all his races sound and in good shape.”
The Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth, which offers 50 points to the
winner in the Road to the Derby Points Standings that determines the
20-horse Kentucky Derby field, offers a golden opportunity for He’s Had
Enough and his 10 rivals to earn a ticket to Louisville on the first
Saturday in May.
“We expect a big performance from him Saturday. We know he has the
talent. Obviously, it’s tough shipping down here with the top trainers
and 3-year-olds that have been competing down here,” Sisterson said.
“But if we want to move forward with his future, he’s got to be running
in this and be competitive in the Fountain of Youth.”
He’s Had Enough was accompanied on the plane Tuesday and during
training hours Thursday morning at Gulfstream by Lava Man, the retired
O’Neill-trained gelding who earned more than $5 million after being
claimed for $50,000 in 2004. Lava Man, a Grade 1 winner on dirt and turf
who captured three Hollywood Gold Cups, two Santa Anita Handicaps and a
Pacific Classic, is scheduled to be the featured guest Saturday morning
during “Breakfast at Gulfstream. Lava Man has adapted well to serving
as a stable pony to the stars in the O’Neill stable, including I’ll Have
Another last season.
Although Lava Man attracted much attention at Churchill Downs and
Pimlico last spring, I’ll Have Another managed to upstage the popular
gelding with his Derby and Preakness performances.
“To this day, I can’t believe that that actually happened. When you
watch replays, it sends shivers down your spine,” Sisterson said. “It’s a
once-in-a-lifetime thing. Once you’ve experienced it, you want to go
back and experience it again. It just makes you worked a little harder
to get back.”