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!