In a Q & A from Pimlico, Calvin Borel says he's flipping his rail-centric focus for the Preakness. Explaining that the rail at Pimlico is much heavier than it is at Churchill, he seems to believe this race with little pace will set up nicely for Super Saver to go to the lead and perhaps run wire-to-wire en route to winning the second leg of the Triple Crown.
“It's going to be a totally opposite race, I think. It won't have the in it, like it did in the Derby. If somebody wants to go, I think I can let him go and lay right off of him. If they don't, we'll take it to them.”
By all reports, Super Saver has bounced back very well from May 1st and looks to be a worthy favorite. Can Calvin come through on his Triple Crown prediction? Today will obviously be a giant step in the right direction.
Read the entire Q & A below
What did you learn from your previous Preakness rides?
“I rode Street Sense, got beat a head on him. You know what? I went back and watched the rerun time after time after time. I don't know how Curlin came back and beat me, but he did. Like Carl (Nafzger, trainer of Street Sense) told me when I got back, I couldn't have done anything different.
“Then I rode the filly (Rachel Alexandra). I thought she was the best horse in the world, which she was and she still is. She did what I wanted her to do. I had to take off the Derby horse to ride her, but it was the thing I had to do. I'm happy that (Mine That Bird's) owners and the trainer understood, because Jerry (agent Jerry Hissam) told them up front that we'd ride the filly. I thought she was the greatest horse in the country, or the world, that I had ever been on. It just so happened that I had to take off Mine That Bird. But we got the job done and I was fortunate enough to ride Mine That Bird back.
“Tomorrow we're coming in with a fresh horse and I love his chances.”
Did you learn it helps to be on the best horse in the Preakness?
“Exactly; you have to be on the best horse at that time.”
Did you learn anything about this track itself?
“This track? No. I wouldn't ride it like I ride Churchill, to stay on the fence. I think it's a little heavier here on the fence from my racing and working Street Sense on it. I think the fence is a little deeper than Churchill. I'm not going to ride him like I did the last time, on the fence, I don't believe.
“It's going to be a totally opposite race, I think. It won't have the speed in it, like it did in the Derby. If somebody wants to go, I think I can let him go and lay right off of him. If they don't, we'll take it to them.
“Like I've said, I think this colt is starting to peak at the right time and it's a big, big plus. He worked so good Monday morning, you wouldn't imagine.”
Can you compare your feelings from this last year to this year?
“I'm always confident in my horse. I maybe say things that I shouldn't – that I'm going to win it. I don't know if people understand, but if you're going to ride, why don't you want to win it? C'mon. That's me. I'm coming here to win the race. I want to win it.
“I'd love to win the Triple Crown, but if it happens, it happens; if it doesn't, it doesn't. But the colt is coming into the race super-good. I know a lot of things can happen, but I think he'll run a super race.”
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