Can Super Saver Win The Triple Crown?
May 07, 2010 05:05am

Super Saver (Maria's Mon – Supercharger, by A.P. Indy) held off the desperate charge of Ice Box to give jockey Calvin Borel his second consecutive  Kentucky Derby win and third victory in four years. The last jockey to pull off the rare Derby double feat was fellow Cajun rider, Eddie Delahoussaye in 1982 – 1983 with Gato Del Sol and Sunny’s Halo.  The final time of 2:04.45 for Kentucky Derby 136 was the slowest recorded time since Sunday Silence won over a sloppy track at almost a full second slower in 1989, stopping the clock in 2:05.


Super Saver undoubtedly benefited from having Calvin Borel on his back. Last year, Borel became the fourth rider to eclipse 900 victories at Churchill Downs. With a current 961 wins, he’s second in the all time standings to the legendary Pat Day, who recorded 2,482 wins at Churchill Downs before hanging up his saddle for good in 2005. Unlike Day, who was victorious only once in the Kentucky Derby with the longshot Lil E. Tee, Borel has ridden in the Derby eight times and won three times.


Immediately after the Kentucky Derby, Calvin Borel emotionally exclaimed that he would win the Triple Crown with Super Saver.  Was it excited heat of the moment gushing or is there weight behind his words? It takes a very special horse to win the Triple Crown and we are overdue for a winner.  We only had to wait 25 years for Secretariat but it’s been 32 years since Affirmed.


Super Saver gave a clue to his demeanor when he crossed under the finish line in front. One ear was cocked back, listening to either his jockey’s words of encouragement or listening for the sound of rivals. The other ear was pricked straight forward. This body language indicated that he had more left in the tank and was waiting to see if his rider would call upon him for more speed.  That was a good sign with the Preakness only two weeks away. 


The chestnut colt’s pedigree hints that on paper, a sweep of the Triple Crown races isn’t so far-fetched.  His sire Maria’s Mon already produced Monarchos, the second-fastest Kentucky Derby winner and the 2006 Champion Filly Wait a While. Maria’s Mon joins Alydar and Halo as the only stallions that have produced two Kentucky Derby winners since 1980. Maria’s Mon never sired a winner at 1 ½ miles, but his son Expansion won the Red Smith (G-2) at 1 3/8 miles (11 furlongs). 


Super Saver’s damsire A.P. Indy won the Belmont Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic. He was voted Three Year Old Champion and Horse of the Year in 1992. At stud he's continued his champion ways is one of the best sires in the world, known for getting long winded runners. He was designated an Intermediate/Classic Chef-de-Race in January, 2008. 


Besides Super Saver, the bloodline cross of Maria’s Mon and A.P. Indy has produced Wait a While, the Champion Three Year Old filly of 2006 and Paris Vegas, a listed stakes winner in France.


Super Saver’s distaff family is pure class. His dam Supercharger is a Phipps-family bred full sister to multiple graded stakes winner Daydreaming, Jerome Handicap (G-2) winner Girolamo and Grade 3 winner Accelerator. Another unraced full sister produced Bluegrass Cat who was second in the Tampa Bay Derby and Kentucky Derby. Bluegrass Cat is now standing at stud and his first crop is already continuing their sire’s winning ways.

Additionally, Supercharger has a half brother Harborage (by Monarchos) who is a Canadian stakes winner and sire.  


Super Saver’s second dam Get Lucky won the Affectionately (G-3).  His third dam Dance Number didn’t win a stakes race, but she did equal the track record at Aqueduct for 6 ½ furlongs and another at Belmont for 8 ½ furlongs. Super Saver’s fourth dam Numbered Account was the Champion 2 Year-Old Filly of 1971 and became a blue hen (superior female) in the breeding shed, while his fifth dam Intriguing was stakes placed and also a blue hen.


One of the strongest female families is the Lowe Family number 1-x, which traces back to LaTroienne. This mare’s influence on the thoroughbred breed was so great that she received her own family number and branch in 2000.  Super Saver traces directly back to LaTroienne through his dam and also thorough Buckpasser who is found top and bottom in his pedigree. One other instance of this family is found through Poker, the damsire of Seattle Slew. Seattle Slew is the sire of A.P. Indy, Super Saver’s damsire.  Additionally, Super Saver’s dam Supercharger has Rasmussen Factor inbreeding, (inbred to a superior mare within five generations), to Glamour, a great-granddaughter of LaTroienne.   


Super Saver’s jockey Calvin Borel successfully taught the Kentucky Derby winner to rate off the lead. With his new running style in place and distance-oriented pedigree, Super Saver should have a good shot at winning the next two legs of the Triple Crown.  

Find more great Pedigree Analysis and Derby coverage at Iron Maidens Thoroughbreds


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Older Comments about Can Super Saver Win The Triple Crown?...

No one thought much of Real Quiet for a reason..He was more lucky than talented.
of course they were all staggering, HOW many colts, at this stage of their career carry 126 pounds 10 furlongs....the Derby is an anachronism.
Get serious, it is LUCK that wins the Triple Crown: Native Dancer, Swale, Canonero, Pleasant Colony, Tim Tam, Majestic Prince, Funny Cide, War Emblem, Bud, Riva Ridge, Risen Star, Sunday Silence, Point Given etc Nashua, Capot, Pensive, Johnstown,,,,MANY of these were standout 3/5 types and couldn't do it.
Other than Ice Box, the rest were all staggering at the end of the Derby. True, fresh horses always head to the Preakness and Belmont and it does take a special horse to win the Triple Crown. Super Saver has the pedigree, we'll see if he has the talent. After all, nobody thought much of Real Quiet and he almost stole it.
In this day and age it is tougher than ever to win the Triple Crown. With increased Graded Earnings and more horses than ever pointing to the Derby, 20-horse fields are the norm. Horses that were excluded from the Derby typically point to the Preakness, and Derby also-rans freshen up for the Belmont. It is going to take a very special horse to win the Triple Crown. Super Saver is a solid horse and was the beneficiary of a great ride at Churchill. His chances of sweeping the crown appear slim.

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