Hall of Fame trainers D. Wayne Lukas, Bob Baffert and Nick Zito have been there before – the winners circle of the Preakness Stakes (G1).
However, trainer Todd Pletcher has not and prior to May 1st he did not have a Kentucky Derby (G1) winner either. But, Pletcher just might be humming a few bars of Maryland, My Maryland if his Marias Mon colt Super Saver wins the 135th running of the $1 million Preakness.
♪ The despot’s heel is on thy shore, His torch is at thy temple door…♪ Maryland ♪ My Maryland ♫
Super Saver, the 5-2 morning line Preakness favorite, has been on my watch list since last December and I liked his chances in the Kentucky Derby. I like Super Saver’s chances in the Preakness, too, and he’s my favorite to wear the garland of Black-eyed Susans.
Since the Kentucky Derby, I’ve heard and read a lot of commentary about how Super Saver had the perfect trip with jockey Calvin Borel and he will not repeat that in the Preakness. Lookin At Lucky, they said, is “unlucky” and is easily intimidated. However, I disagree with those commentaries
Of all the horses on the trail, Super Saver and Lookin At Lucky have shown me that they are all heart and have the will to win.
Super Saver demonstrated that will to win in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) when he was almost headed but dug down deep to pull away and win by five lengths. And, in the Arkansas Derby (G1), Super Saver ran a gut-busting race chasing a fast Line Of David – narrowly losing by a neck. Super Saver has speed and stamina and that’s a potent combination when it comes to winning the classics.
Super Saver also has Calvin Borel as his jockey. Borel also has the will to win and that’s a winning combination. Just as I had written in my Kentucky Derby Roundup, Borel dropped Super Saver off the lead to a comfortable cruising spot along the rail and took command at the top of the stretch en route to a 2 ½ - length victory over Paddy O’Prado.
But some commentators have said that Borel “owns” Churchill Downs and he’s not as good at other tracks. Keep in mind, Borel has only competed in the Preakness Stakes twice and he finished second in 2007 with Street Sense and he won it last year with Rachel Alexandra – that’s a 100 percent in the money payoff.
A horse that is easily intimidated does not finish a race as strong as Lookin At Lucky has in all of his races. A horse that is intimidated will fall to the back of the herd. But Lookin At Lucky, no matter what kind of ride that Garrett Gomez gives him, has never been out of the money until the Kentucky Derby and he has found his way to the winners circle six times in nine starts – that’s not the sign of an intimidated horse.
Lookin At Lucky, in my opinion, is all heart and I like the jockey switch to Martin Garcia.
Going into the the Kentucky Derby, I thought that Super Saver and Lookin At Lucky were the two best horses and I believe they are the two best in the Preakness field.
Paddy O’Prado is a nice colt that is getting good at the right time and Kent Desormeaux is the most decorated jockey with two first-place finishes and and three second-place finishes in the Preakness since 1997. I left Paddy O’Prado off my Derby tickets and it cost me the trifecta. I won’t make that same mistake in the Preakness.
Since his surgery last year, Dublin has been a new horse and he rebounded nicely with a second-place finish in the Southwest Stakes (G2) and a third-place finish in the Rebel Stakes (G2) and Arkansas Derby (G1). After encountering a bad trip in the Derby, Dublin finished a respectable 7th to Super Saver who beat him by 7 1/2 lengths. Dublin always seems to fall short of the prize but I like his consistency and I believe he will be competitive in the Preakness.
Of the newcomers entered in the Preakness field, Caracortado is the only graded-stakes winner with a win in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2) and he is the only horse that I like. With five wins in seven starts, I believe that Caracotado also has the will to win and that he will be competitive in the Preakness.
Super Saver (5-2) is my favorite for the win but I believe he will be bet down and I will only use him in the exotics with Lookin At Lucky (3-1), Paddy O’Prado (9-2), Dublin (10-1) and Caracortado (10-).
Exacta Box: 7-8-10
Exacta: 7-8-10/ 7-8-9-10
Trifecta: 7-8-10/ 7-8-9-10/ 7-8-9-10-12
Superfecta: 7-8-10/ 7-8-9-10/ 7-8-9-10-12/ 9-12