Super Saver, Others Breeze at Churchill Downs
Super Saver , winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), had his first workout since the May 1 classic when he breezed three furlongs in :36 3/5 at Churchill Downs on the morning of May 10.
Jockey Calvin Borel, who won his third Derby in the last four years on the WinStar homebred, was aboard for the workout, which was the fifth fastest of the day among 23 horses working that distance.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Super Saver will be seeking his fourth win when he makes his eighth start in the May 15 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland. The Kentucky-bred son of Maria's Mon has earned $1,826,432.
Super Saver was timed in fractions of :12 2/5, :36 3/5, out a half in :49 1/5 and five-eighths in 1:02. The move was fifth fastest of 29 at the distance.
Super Saver was one of a handful of Preakness probables working at Churchill May 10. Robert C. Baker and William L. Mack’s Dublin , winner of the 2009 Hopeful Stakes (gr. I), breezed a half-mile in :48 2/5, 14th fastest out of 60 working distance. Westrock Stable’s Northern Giant, who like Dublin is trained by D. Wayne Lukas, breezed three furlongs in :36 2/5, third fastest time of the day.
With new rider Garrett Gomez aboard, Dublin posted fractions of :13, :25, and :37 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.
"I liked what I felt under me," said Gomez, who is replacing Terry Thompson on Dublin. "He was very responsive. Wayne wanted a good easy half and didn’t want much of a gallop-out. He wanted solid :12s."
Gomez said Dublin behaved differently now than he did earlier in the year at Oaklawn Park
"Yes. He was nothing like what you may have heard about in Hot Springs (at Oaklawn Park) when he bolted a few times," Gomez said. "He was no problem today. He’s just a big ol’ boy. I feel good about my chances."
"It was a very good work and he galloped out in 1:01." Lukas said. "Garrett liked it. He’s enthused and that’s all that matters."
"He went well," Lukas said of Northern Giant, on whom a rider has not been confirmed. "I want to see who shows up there for the other stakes" (before naming a rider).
Northern Giant was timed in fractions of :12 3/5 and :36 2/5 and he galloped out a half-mile in :49 4/5.
"I was very pleased with the work," Pletcher said. "We are very encouraged by what we’ve seen since the Derby from him. Everything is good. I got him in :36 and change and out in :49."
"It was real good – just what we wanted," said Borel. "He switched leads on key – we’ve been working on that a little bit. I was perfect. You couldn’t ask for better, I don’t think."
Super Saver is scheduled to ship to Baltimore on May 12.
"He is pretty unique," Pletcher said of Super Saver when asked to compare him with other horses he has trained. "He is very athletic, a good mover and very efficient."
Borel said he believes Super Saver’s versatility will serve him well in Saturday’s 1 3/16-mile Preakness.
"That’s a great feeling," he said. "He’s not like a horse like Street Sense [2007 Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness runner-up] who’s got to come out the back door. He doesn’t have to be on the lead – if they give to me, good – if they don’t, no. That’s a big plus – he plays with me. I can do what I want with him.
"Todd did a good job with him – him and his assistant (Mike McCarthy) and exercise rider (Kevin Willey). When I rode him last year as a 2-year-old he was a pretty aggressive colt. He wanted to run pretty early, and now he’s on-command. That’s what you want in these kind of races because you never know what they’re going to throw at you – there might be a ‘rabbit’ or two, so you want get him to relax and not to be there fighting with them and go from there."
Pletcher said Twin Creeks Racing Stable’s Mission Impazible , the ninth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, is still on the fence for the Preakness after working three furlongs in :36 2/5. The move was third fastest of 29 at the distance. Fractions for the breeze were :12 and out a half-mile in :49 3/5.
"I thought he worked well," Pletcher said. "We are still on the fence with him about the Preakness. I am going to get with the owners this afternoon."
Ike and Dawn Thrash’s Hurricane Ike, winner of the Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (gr. III) on the Churchill meet opener, was the fastest of two horses working seven furlongs May 10, getting the distance in 1:25 4/5 for trainer John Sadler.
One other Preakness hopeful worked after the break, Steel Your Face Stables’ Yawanna Twist.
With assistant trainer Michelle Nevin up and working solo, Yawanna Twist covered five furlongs in 1:01 4/5. Fractions were :12 3/5 and :36 3/5 for the move that was 13th fastest of 27 at the distance.
"It was a basic work for him. It went well," Nevin said of Yawanna Twist, runner-up in the Illinois Derby (GIII) in his most recent start.
Robert LaPenta and Fred Brei’s Jackson Bend signaled his readiness for the Preakness by working a bullet half-mile in :46 3/5 May 10 at Churchill Downs
The move was the fastest of 69 at the distance. Working in company with Latigo Shore and with Stacy Prior in the saddle, Jackson Bend posted fractions of :11 4/5, :23, :34 4/5 and galloped out five furlongs in :59 4/5
"It was really quick, but the good thing about it is that he did it on his own," trainer Nick Zito said. "Stacy was not asking him at all.
"If he has a good week, this is the shot you take. He will get a break after this."
"I thought it went well. He hit the ground nice and I think I am in good shape," jockey Robby Albarado said. "This work was more for me than for him to let me get a feel for him," Albarado said after the call. "We broke off at the seven-eighths and I just eased him into the work."
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