The track was so sloppy that as the horses came around the final turn into the home stretch it was impossible to identify any one of them: they were all brown and muddy. Many horses don’t like to run in the mud, especially if they spend most of the race with mud hitting their faces.
Still, it should come as no surprise that the winner, Super Saver, was piloted to victory by Calvin Borel who rode another text book perfect ride in his favorite position: the rail.
While Borel has piloted three out of the last four Derby winners (a new record), Super Saver’s win is the first for trainer Todd Pletcher, who was 0-24 until today. Ironically, the trainer thought his best chances for winning this year’s Derby was gone: he’d had to scratch favorite Eskendereya earlier this week because of swelling in the horse’s leg.
Pletcher reported that his instructions to Borel were to “ride him like he was your own.” Short, sweet and effective.