May 2, 2010

Super Man, Super Relief and Super Saver!

Today is not the day. I refuse to question the brilliance of the Kentucky Derby champion, Super Saver. I will not add fuel to the doubters who believe he can not win the Triple Crown. Nor will I question whether or not he would have won if Ice Box or Lookin at Lucky had smoother trips. Today is not the day to talk about what would have happened if Eskendereya had been able to run. Today is all about Super Saver. Congratulate him and his handlers for winning the greatest of all American horse races.



43-year-old jockey Calvin Borel continues to amaze. He is a true American hero. Raised from modest beginnings in Louisiana, he now sits squarely atop the world of Thoroughbred jockeys. If it is true what they say, and the Kentucky Derby is the race that everyone wants to win, than Calvin Borel must be the envy of all of America’s jockeys. In the last four years, he has won three Derbies, with a third place finish in the other year. A remarkable run, that will be hard to match again in our lifetimes. Borel has won with a favorite, and he has won with a rank outsider. Every Derby mount he rides has a better chance to win, simply because he is on their back. The most recognizable racetrack in the United States, Churchill Downs, is now Calvin’s track.

Our newest Kentucky Derby winning trainer, Todd Pletcher, has been the most successful trainer in the 21st century. He has broken his own earnings records, as he’s piled up Eclipse Awards. At 42 years of age, he has accomplished more in the sport than most trainers can even dream of, but still there was something missing. A big something. Without a Kentucky Derby win, Pletcher’s career was incomplete. Like the Hall of Fame quarterback who never won the Super Bowl, Pletcher trained with a 100 pound monkey on his back…until yesterday. Happiness? Joy? Perhaps relief is the best description. Todd Pletcher will never again have to answer questions about never having won the big win. He is now poised to have the greatest year in his stellar career. Sweet relief.

As for the Kentucky Derby winner himself, Super Saver is a beautiful colt who has run well in every single one of his races. He has the classic breeding of a champion and has always been considered a horse with the potential to do something really big. In his narrow defeats of 2010, in the Tampa Bay and Arkansas Derbies, he showed courage and gameness despite not being fully cranked up. Super Saver was prepared to peak on the first Saturday in May, and now he is the winner of the Kentucky Derby. He is now the only horse who can win the elusive Triple Crown. Can he win it? Is he the best three-year-old in the nation? We will not start worrying about that until we are within twelve days of the Preakness…on Monday morning!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is Anthony Kelzenberg....If Super Saver gets a good draw, I could see a Preakness win, a Belmont win might be difficult for him. He doesn't come across to me as being a stayer.

Brian Zipse said...

Anthony, With his new found ability to rate, his breeding, and the somewhat common occurrence of a slow Belmont pace...the final jewel is not out of his scope.

tencentcielo said...

Super Saver should win the Preakness, with the biggest obstacle not entering due to same ownership. (Drosselmeyer).

That leaves the Belmont. If Pletcher knows his Triple Crown history well enough, Super Saver will be the next Triple Crown winner. (Hint: Don't take back too far off the lead.)

LDP said...

Well, it's Monday now! Anywho, I think SS ran a magnificant race and Calvin rode a masterful race. I hardly doubt there has been a jockey that has mastered the Derby, but Calvin Borel is now the Master of the Derby.

I do think SS has the potential for the TC. He does have that AP Indy on his dams side, which may come in handy, and as Brian pointed out he can rate or go to the lead and slow the pace.

I personally do not make much of the final time, since most races run at over a mile at CD that day were snail slow. Plus the slowest Derby in history I belive was run by none other than Sunday Silence and he wen on to be HOTY.

Pletcher finally got his win and it has to be gratifying as well as relieving. He now has the Derby winner and a Superstar in Quality Road, who is set to return at the end of this month. Looks like he's going to have one heck of a May.

Anonymous said...

After the Sam Davis I thought if Rule gets an inside post at Churchill then maybe? So Super Saver gets an inside post, with Calvin and mud. If this happens again next year???
RG

Brian Zipse said...

It seems there are mixed reviews on Super Saver in the racing community. The one thing I know for sure is he is the only horse that can win the Triple Crown in 2010, and personally, I wish him the best of luck.

Anonymous said...

I have always liked this horse. He was my only early pool selection. With a Phipps bred mare in his background, he has a shot at the TC. Not an intelligent move selling this Blue Hen mare in foal to this now derby winner. His full brother, Hedge Fund, is in the claiming ranks but has earned a hefty sum for those trainers and owners who have claimed him. They (Phipps') threw him in the claiming ranks early in his career. I hope his fate will be saved as he is a gelding and people forget who won them a nice chunk of money when it comes to the end of the line. This is where this game loses its appeal for me. I know this is not what this thread is about but it is part of the whole picture.

Celeste said...

Great article, Brian, and I could not agree with you more. I've liked Super Saver all along and quietly watched him develop. Can he win it? He just won the Derby to the surprise of many, so who am I to say it isn't possible. If he did win the Triple Crown, it would be wonderful for everyone!

Anonymous said...

Nice horse who was bet down to the second favorite because of his wet track form, which was obvious to anyone who bothered to handicap for the muddy conditions of the Derby. Great ride by Borel!

I seriously doubt SS is the best three-year-old or that he would have won the Derby in dry conditions. Triple Crown material? Dream on...