by Kenneth Strong of Predictem.com Horse Racing
Super Saver wins 136th Kentucky Derby courtesy of perfect ride from jockey Calvin Borel
Super Saver took advantage of yet another rail-skimming ride by jockey Calvin Borel to take the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 1, and there can be no question that this years Derby was won by the horse with the best trip.
Moving resolutely to the rail early in the Derby and rating five to six lengths back of lone speed horse Conveyance through fast fractions of 22.63, 46.16 and 1:10.58, Super Saver advanced off the rail late on the final turn to challenge between the tiring Conveyance and early bidder Nobles Promise. Super Saver quickly moved passed Conveyance to take the inside while battling into the stretch with Nobles Promise after a mile in 1:37.65. Nobles Promise held gamely to mid stretch before giving way and Super Saver pulled away in the final furlong to win by 2 -lengths over troubled rallier Ice Box. It was a neck back to Paddy OPrado in third place, and two lengths further back to fourth place finisher Make Music for Me. Nobles Promise held fifth while favorite Lookin at Lucky rallied mildly to finish sixth.
The final time for the 1 -miles over the muddy strip was 2:04.45, the slowest final time for the Kentucky Derby since 1989. The resulting Beyer Speed Figure of 104 was the second lowest given to a Kentucky Derby winner in the last 20 years. The final time and low figure were not unexpected given the wet track and the average group of horses in this years Kentucky Derby.
Super Saver returned $18 to win and gave trainer Todd Pletcher, who was 0-for-24 in nine previous Derby tries, his first win in the Kentucky Derby. After the race, winning jockey Calvin Borel stated he would win the Triple Crown with Super Saver, but with a full field of 14 expected in the second jewel of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 15, well be betting against that happening.
Super Saver is a decent horse, but he also got a dream trip in the Derby while a number of the serious challengers received poor trips. Second place finisher Ice Box was steadied once early and twice late but still continued to close on the winner late. Favorite Lookin at Lucky got a less than perfect start and shortly afterwards was lambasted into the rail by Stately Victor as a result of third-place finisher Paddy OPrado coming over. The jockeys aboard both Lookin at Lucky and Stately Victor probably could have lodged a claim of foul against Paddy OPrado for coming over early, but likely decided against it given the large field and the mud.
Paddy OPrado received one of the better trips in the race after the early bumping incident and his third place finish was as good as he was going to get, despite comments that jockey Kent Desormeaux wasnt riding him hard enough to save second place late. One of our longshot selections in the race, Make Music for Me, was bothered mildly at the start and ended up last for most of the Derby until coming with an excellent wide rally.
Nobles Promise (5th) probably ran his best race, as did Dublin (7th) after some mild early trouble. We probably over-rated Stately Victor (8th) but his hard early bump with Lookin at Lucky had to have taken something out of him. Mission Impazible (9th) was taken back early but recovered and moved up inside before tiring. He ran better than we thought he would. The only filly in this years Derby, Devil May Care (10th) did well to split the field in a race that she was nowhere near ready for. Speed horses American Lion (11th) and Discreetly Mine (13th) performed as expected when unable to get near the lead. Hard-trying Jackson Bend (12th) had some minor trouble but generally finished close to where we thought he would. Deans Kitten (14th) never really showed anything. Conveyance (15th) set a sizzling pace and justifiably went backwards in the stretch, but he didnt stop nearly as bad as Sidneys Candy (17th), who looked like he was tied to a post late on the final turn after pressing Conveyance from the outside. Homeboykris (16th), Line of David (18th) and Backtalk (20th) showed little of anything. The biggest dissapoinment in the race was probably Awesome Act (19th) who showed no desire to be competitive at any point in the race.
Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver is expected to be back in the 2010 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on Saturday, May 15, along withfellow Derby runners Paddy OPrado, Lookin at Lucky, Dublin, and Jackson Bend.
Our 2010 Kentucky Derby Contenders Analysis turned out to be one of the more accurate predictive pieces written about this years Kentucky Derby. Heres what we wrote about Derby winner Super Saver prior to the race:
Super Saver makes his third start off the layoff in the Derby and looks like hes sitting on a big race but he does like to run close to the lead and the Derby pace will likely be very fast. If jockey Calvin Borel can harness his speed early, expect him to head straight to the rail and wait for an opening turning for home. If he gets involved in the early pace battle he has no chance, but we just cant imagine why he would do that. Borel has won this race from the rail before when not on the best horse, and that gives this horse a shot at all the money. Forget his last race, when he couldnt get by Line of David in the stretch. He wasnt quite ready for that effort. Working well and we love his pedigree.
Expect more of the same in our upcoming Preakness Contenders Analysis.