By Josh Cook
If Monday is any indication it looks like Super Saver has plenty saved up for Saturday's Preakness.
In his first workout since winning the 136th Kentucky Derby, the colt worked three furlongs in an easy and breezy 36.60 seconds with jockey Calvin Borel aboard at Churchill Downs.
"I was very pleased with the work," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "We are very encouraged by what we've seen since the Derby from him. Everything is good. I got him in 36 (seconds) and out in 49.
"I wanted to see how he was getting over the ground and what his energy level looked like, and his enthusiasm. All of it was perfect. He went as easy as a horse could go and was getting over the ground great. He seemed very happy and enthusiastic. It was very, very good."
Borel, who helped Pletcher break his 0-for-24 streak in the Run for the Roses, was equally impressed.
"It was real good - just what we wanted," said the jock who guided Super Saver to a 2 1/2-length victory over Ice Box in the May 1 Derby with his usual rail ride. "He switched leads on key, we've been working on that a little bit. I was perfect. You couldn't ask for better, I don't think.
"Todd did a good job with him. Him and his assistant (Mike McCarthy) and exercise rider (Kevin Willey). When I rode him last year as a 2-year-old he was a pretty aggressive colt. He wanted to run pretty early and now he's on-command. That's what you want in these kind of races because you never know what they're going to throw at you. There might be a rabbit or two, so you want to get him to relax and not to be there fighting with them and go from there."
And go Borel did in the Derby, capturing his third in four years after previously visiting the winner's circle with Street Sense in 2007 and Mine That Bird in 2009.
"He's not a horse like Street Sense, who's got to come out the back door," Borel said of Super Saver. "He doesn't have to be on the lead - if they give it to me, good - if they don't, no (big deal). That's a big plus, he plays with me. I can do what I want with him."
Super Saver is scheduled to head to Baltimore on Wednesday, which is also the draw day for the 14-horse Preakness. Pletcher said Super Saver will then gallop and school at Pimlico on Thursday, and gallop again Friday.
The 1 3/16ths-mile Preakness is now the only Triple Crown race that Pletcher has not won. He captured the 2007 Belmont with Rags to Riches and comes in off Super Saver's Derby victory.
"He's pretty unique," Pletcher said of the colt. "He is very athletic, a good mover and very efficient."
We'll find out just how efficient Saturday.