by | 11.17.2010 | 12:47am

Trainer Todd Pletcher's comments following Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver's eighth-place finish behind Lookin At Lucky in the Preakness:

“I thought as well as First Dude hung in there that we were in a good spot. He was able to move himself right outside of (First Dude). It looked like the colt was relaxed. He was traveling well down the backside and you could tell that when he went to the far turn, he came up empty.

“It was an honest pace with First Dude hanging in there. He finished second. It would be hard to say that we were chasing too fast of a pace. I thought Calvin (Borel) gave him a perfect trip. Coming off a huge effort in the Derby (on May 1), the two weeks was too short.

“When they went to the far turn, you could see that Calvin was squeezing and asking him to go get that horse, and he just couldn't do it. He hung in there. He kept fighting. He tried hard. It was back a little quick for him. Now we've got time to come back for a big summer.

“I wouldn't trade the Derby for anything. We got the one we wanted the most. We would have loved to come here and win the Preakness and go to Belmont with a chance to win the Triple Crown. That would be the ultimate challenge, but I wouldn't trade that one for any of the other ones.”

Pletcher said Super Saver came out of the race in good condition.


  • Dance in the Dark

    Well, perhaps the two week turn-around was too quick for PLETCHER’S training style. It certainly wasn’t too quick for Lookin At Lucky or Jackson Bend.

  • Nick

    I agree with Dance in the Dark. The two week excuse is such nonsense.

  • Trappeddownontherail

    agree with #1 and #2. How about in Australia where a few years ago a horse – salix free – won the two mile melbourne cup five days after running in a mile and a half stakes!

    maybe if they eased up on the meds in this country they might be able to run them back sooner than a month.

  • MickyK

    Its not fair to say the two week excuse was nonsense. Every horse is an individual athlete who can react differently to the stress of racing. That’s why it takes such an extraordinary animal to win the Triple Crown. It may also be worth noting that neither Lookin at Lucky nor Jackson Bend was able to run very hard in the Derby due to all the trouble they encountered.

  • Cris

    In the Derby many times the horse with the best trip wins. Super Saver was the horse with the best trip. Watch the Preakness again, and you see that his jockey did nothing wrong to get him beat. He gave him a perfect trip, although other factors were not present. The track was fast, the field was smaller, the horses that had come to the dance that were not in the derby were talented enough to influence pace and pace will influence outcome. Lucky could not be unlucky for long, the tide had to change sometime. When a talented horse like Lucky does not get injured in his adventures, he will fire sometime, and today was his day. It is time for the Derby connections to get real about the amount of horses allowed to run in the race. The story here at this Preakness is not about the two horses, but rather what the hell is going on with Gomez? Dublin was by no means a sure thing, but he had no shot after the
    start of that race. Is a black cloud following him around lately? Or is this a cloud of his own making? He is one of my favorite jockeys, so this really concerns me. Dublin is a nice horse and he had an awful trip.

  • Bill

    Dublin has had a habit of bearing out at the start for most of his career. It looked worse than usual at Pimlico because that track is very narrow.

    if you follow racing besides the Triple Crown and “big name” races, you’d know that there’s no black cloud over Gomez. He’s having a great year. With a 25% win rate and 57% in-the-money rate in 2010 he was statistically the second best jockey in the Preakness (Ramon Dominguz was the only jockey in the race with better stats).

    If you want to blame somebody for Dublin’s repeated bearing out at the start, look to his grossly over-rated trainer. Lukas 13% win rate was tied for the worst in the field amongst trainers. The media apparently doesn’t read pps or they’d stop with their ludicrous “don’t discount Lukas” mantra that so many occasional bettors apparently buy into.

    Anyway, a quirky horse like Dublin would be better served to have one rider so that rider could become familiar with his quirks and figure out how to deal with them. But Lukas likes to play musical jockeys regardless of the best interest of a particular horse.

  • Turn Pike

    #3 Trappeddownontherail said: “maybe if they eased up on the meds in this country they might be able to run them back sooner than a month.”

    I couldnt agree with you more.

    #4 MickyK said: ” It may also be worth noting that neither Lookin at Lucky nor Jackson Bend was able to run very hard in the Derby due to all the trouble they encountered.”

    I couldnt disagree with you more. Lucky and Jackson are two horses who would have had an excuse for throwing in a clunker yesterday since they both ran very hard, and had troubled trips in the Derby. Super Saver on the other hand had the easiest Derby trip i can recall. There was no excuse for the dog of a race he ran yesterday.

    Pletcher was going into the Derby with 7 horses- where are they now?

  • T.N. Trosin

    I don’t know what Derby you watched Willis, but the one I saw involved Super Saver RUNNING out of the gate, rating back never worse than 6th behind jacked up fractions of 22 and 3 and 46 and 1, move with a half mile to go, squashed in the turn, and him being driven home. If a horse had a reason to “throw in a clunker” it was Super Saver.

  • JD Roth

    Super Saver was almost 2 seconds behind the pace you refer to. He had to overcome nothing in the Derby.

  • Mike in Louisville

    How about we try:

    “We already won the race we care about and we’re just here, so the suckers have someone to bet on.

    Go Get’em Bob!”

    A stuffed animal could have won on the back of LAL.

  • Mike in SB

    For decades two weeks between races was considered the best spacing for races, remember when the Wood and the Arkansas Derby were two weeks before the Derby, the Bluegrass was even 10 days before the Derby I believe. All the great horses of the 70’s raced many times on two weeks rest, in those days fitness was most important not being fresh. I don’t know why it has changed but it doesn’t seem to be better for the horses. There is no evidence horses today are better off in any way than the horses from those days, and it doesn’t seem to be any more successful. Look at the success of the horses coming out of the Derby into the Preakness, If it was so bad to run in two weeks then new fresh horses would be winning the Preakness.

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