Social Icons

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Super Saver Totally Made Sense

Finally, Todd Pletcher can stop pretending to tolerate those idiots who constantly ask him, “How’s it feel not to have won the Derby?” Like, “duh.” How do you think it feels—it sucks. But now he’s won it, and how appropriate is it to have won it with Calvin Borel?

Pundits were amazed that Super Saver was the favorite in overnight betting, and Lookin At Lucky wasn’t—well, turns out bettors aren’t as stupid as the so-called experts think. Come on, what wasn’t there to like? He had the stamina pedigree, it was his third race off a break, he worked extremely well over the sloppy Churchill track on Monday, he had already won a race (G2 Kentucky Jockey Club) over this track, he freaked on a sloppy Belmont track to break his maiden by 7 lengths last year, and, oh, he’s got Calvin Borel as his jockey. Seriously, for all the outcry about freaky results, he totally made sense. Congratulations to Dana at Green But Game who nailed Super Saver in the Paulick Derby Index!

Ditto Ice Box who but for a wicked trip—much worse than Lookin At Lucky, I might add—could have won this race. Yea, it took him a little longer to mature last year, but his Florida Derby performance was superb. He’d worked well on the sloppy track too, and with his G2-winning dam Spice Island (Tabasco Cat) having won over 12 furlongs, his pedigree entitled him to win this race. Watch out for him in the Belmont for sure.

I wasn’t crazy about Paddy O’Prado, especially considering his only previous dirt effort. Maybe the slop brought him into contention. On a fast dry track I doubt he would have had a chance. And Make Music for Music? Stunning to get up for fourth! Yes, he had good form vs. Lookin At Lucky last year, but a colt by Bernstein out of a Carson City mare getting 10 furlongs on dirt? Crazy.

Can we please stop the whining about Lookin At Lucky’s bad luck? That’s all they talked about on HRTV and in other West Coast circles. He didn’t get it done. Period. Noble’s Promise did a lot better than I thought he would, but he didn’t get the distance, which was the primary knock against him, and Dublin? Oy vey! Talk about another overly-hyped horse, although some will take solace in that seventh-place finish. Blah! The bottom half (barring Awesome Act) showed their distance limitations and/or turf/all-weather creds. Unfortunately, due to the shameless need to pack the field, how many of those runners will never again win a race?

As great as the Pletcher/Borel line is, arguably the best Derby story is Glen Fullerton, “Call the Close” contest winner who won a VIP trip to the race and a free $100k wager on the race—which he hit for $900k when Super Saver came home the winner. Lucky dog!


dana said...

Thanks! I'm annoyed that I didn't have Ice Box in the mix as I did think about it AND I had Paddy O'Prado, specifically based on how he was working in the slop. That tri would have been sweet!

I'm also impressed that Lookin at Lucky did as well as he did after the watching the replay a couple of times, he was really banged around and checked hard at the beginning of the race, a lot of others might have quit under the same circumstances. All and all it was kind of a nutty day!

GiantsCauseway said...

What idiot at Churchill thinks breaking from the one- hole straight into the rail is a good idea? Lucky had to play roller derby instead of Kentucky Derby. If he had been flipped over the rail & injured or worse Churchill would have looked the the morons they are. Move the starting gate five-feet to the right of limit the field~!

Gary said...

I had chosen Icebox to win. Beneficial pick after Rule and Eskendereya defection. Despite just missing I was totally impressed with his effort. Each race he is maturing more and more.

We had to weather the "expert picks" last year too (Dunkirk). Not knocking Lookin at Lucky because he did have excuses but I was amazed Awesome Act and Mission Impazible receiving huge respect by some of these experts. Paddy O'Prado is worthy but just like Lion Heart will always be vulnerable in the final stretch. I am not sure Talamo gave Sidney a chance to do better. I really thought he would have made the decision to lay off that pace some. It seemed he was going to but then proceeded to chase ahead of Conveyance. It was suicidal.

Anonymous said...

Was Ice Box impressive or what?! His acceleration down the stretch was amazing, even after coming to a stop. I’ll watch out for him later. I did want to mention the gutsy effort by General Quarters on the turf. Hopefully we will see more of him this year.

Gary said...

It would be a disappointment not to see Icebox in the Preakness but I understand the concern. His style is best suited for the Belmont and to risk not seeing him do his thing for something going wrong in the Preakness might be the larger disappointment. Icebox has won me over to hope the best for him.

Valerie Grash said...

Giant’s Causeway—I totally agree about limiting the field! Why is the Oaks field limited to 14? For Derby, it should be at most 15. Twenty is ridiculous, and dangerous.

Anon and Gary—I love Ice Box’s style, and thinks it fits the Belmont perfectly. Pimlico’s track doesn’t favor deep closers at all, and the shorter distance isn’t great for him either. I hope he skips the Preakness, Super Saver wins it, and we have a battle royal at Belmont.

Anon, also loved General Quarters’ turf effort! I understand Robbie Albarado advised McCarthy to try him on turf, something to do with his wide hooves. Considering his third dam Royal Honoree was a daughter of the great turfster Round Table, and his second dam’s full-sister was G1-placed on turf in Ireland, it totally makes sense.