The weather turned out perfect for jockey Calvin Borel and Super Saver who won the 136th Kentucky Derby by nearly three lengths over Ice Box.One year after guiding improbable longshot Mine That Bird to victory in the Kentucky Derby, Borel gave a similar rail-skimming ride to Super Saver, sliding him inside of Noble’s Promise at the three-sixteenths pole and home to a 2 1/2-length victory in Kentucky Derby No. 136.
Leading up to Saturday’s 136th running of the Kentucky Derby, all eyes were on the two favorites, Lookin for Lucky and Sidney’s Candy.
Even the lone filly in the race, Devil May Care, was getting her fair share of press.
One horse though, the only horse with a spectacular win in horrid sloppy conditions, was lumped in with the handful of pseudo favorites in the 10/12 to 1 area. A horse that had made its way to the Derby through solid placings and races, but not with the fanfare of the top horses in the field.
And then they predicted rain for the Run for the Roses on Saturday, and people started mumbling. Then it actually started raining … and raining, and raining. Handicappers looked around at the field for a mudder, and there, sitting at the fourth post was Super Saver.
As the rain kept coming, and the track went from damp to wet to sloppy to swamp, handicapping eyes moved away from the favorites, and on to Super Saver.
People seemed to forget about jockey Calvin Borel, who now has won three of the last four Kentucky Derbys. He has mastered this track, and on Saturday, mastered this 8/1 horse to a masterful finish.Not only was it Borel’s second consecutive Derby victory, but it was an unprecedented third victory in this race in four years. He also won it in 2007 aboard Street Sense. Bill Hartack won three Derbies in a five-year span (1960-64). Borel – who finished third in the 2008 Derby aboard Denis of Cork – is the fifth jockey to win it in back-to-back years. Borel is the ninth rider to win this race at least three times. Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack have each won it five times while Bill Shoemaker has won it four times. Angel Cordero Jr., Kent Desormeaux, Gary Stevens, Issac Murphy and Earl Sande are the others to have won three Derbies. As he did last year, Borel kept his engagement to ride his mount in the race following the Derby and would not hold his press conference until after that race. "I was born to ride, sir,” Borel said. "This is what I wanted to do all my life. Every jock’s dream is to win the Derby. I’d never dream I’d win it three times. I work hard, I’m dedicated, I’m very blessed.”
Borel first got on Super Saver last November when the decision was made to run the colt in the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill rather than the Remsen at Aqueduct. Borel guided him to a five-length victory then. In his only other time aboard the colt, Borel rode him a second-place finish in the Arkansas Derby. The presence of Borel on Super Saver was probably the reason Super Saver went off as the 8-1 second choice behind Lookin At Lucky. Super Saver was listed at 15-1 on the morning-line.
Sent off the 8-1 second choice in the full 20-horse field, Super Saver earned his first victory since taking the Kentucky Jockey Club S. (G2) under the Twin Spires as a two-year-old. Borel was aboard for that ride as well, and this win rewarded supporters with payouts of $18, $8.80 and $6. Sent off at 11-1, Ice Box (Pulpit) rallied to take second over Paddy O’Prado (El Prado [Ire]), returning $11.20 and $8 while keying the $152.40 exacta. Paddy O’Prado was worth $7.40 at 12-1 and ended the $2,377.40 trifecta. Make Music for Me (Bernstein), who just got into the Run for the Roses at the last minute, took fourth over Noble’s Promise (Cuvee) and completed the stellar $202,569.20 superfecta (4-2-10-9). Following the top five under the wire was an unlucky Lookin at Lucky (Smarty Strike), who was bumped and forced to check repeatedly as the 6-1 favorite.
This was the first Derby victory for Todd Pletcher, who has failed with 24 previous entries in the Derby, never finishing better than sixth.
Here is the finishing order of the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby
1 Super Saver
2 Ice Box
3 Paddy O’Prado
4 Make Music for Me
5 Noble’s Promise
6 Lookin at Lucky
8 Stately Victor
9 Mission Impazible
10 Devil May Care
11 American Lion
12 Jackson Bend
13 Discreetly Mine
14 Dean’s Kitten
17 Sidney’s Candy
18 Line of David
19 Awesome Act
Preakness Stakes Preview
Super Saver, who races in the silks of WinStar Farm, is now likely bound for the Preakness on May 15 at Pimlico in Baltimore as he takes the next step on the Triple Crown trail, according to the conditioner. Indications were that he’d ship him to Maryland on May 12. Both Ice Box and Jackson Bend will remain at Churchill Downs while their connections decide upon their next starts.Should he decide to pass on the Preakness with Ice Box, Zito said he’d have no trouble training the Florida Derby (GI) winner up to the Belmont Stakes. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said that Robert Baker and William Mack’s Dublin likely would be headed to Baltimore for the second leg of the Triple Crown in the Preakness Stakes (GI) on May 15.
In the case of the Glencrest Farm’s filly Devil May Care, who finished 10th in the 20-horse field, Pletcher said she would not be considered for the Preakness. That was the case also with E. Paul Robsham Stables’ Discreetly Mine, who finished 13th.
But with ninth-place finisher Mission Impazible, owned by Twin Creek Racing Stables, the jury was still out. “We’ll take a couple of days and think about him running there,” Pletcher said.