Pletcher letting Derby win soak in
Last year, trainer Chip Woolley stayed out drinking all night to celebrate Mine That Bird’s upset. No way would the low-key Pletcher do that. He said he slept “a little bit” Saturday night, and if he felt weary Sunday morning, it was a very good tired.
“We went back to our hotel and had dinner with family and friends, like we always do after the Derby,” Pletcher said on Churchill Downs’ muddy backstretch. “Though I must say this one was more fun.”
Super Saver and jockey Calvin Borel ended Pletcher’s record 0-for-24 schneid Saturday, and on May 15, they’ll try to take the 1 3/16-mile Preakness Stakes, the only Triple Crown race Pletcher hasn’t won. He’s sent out only four horses in it, so that won’t be a compelling story line next week in Baltimore.
“Super Saver’s energy level was good today, better than I would have expected,” Pletcher said. “He wasn’t knocked out. He’s a very fit horse, and we’re going to try to keep him happy.”
He added that he might run Aikenite, runner-up to Hurricane Ike in the Derby Trial, at Pimlico. He said Mission Impazible, ninth in the Derby, is also a possibility for a race limited to 14 starters.
D. Wayne Lukas said he was “likely” to run Dublin (seventh). Paddy O’Prado (third), Make Music for Me (fourth), Noble’s Promise (fifth), Lookin At Lucky (sixth) and Conveyance (15th) have not been ruled out.
Preakness executive Mike Gathagan said potential new shooters are Hurricane Ike, A Little Warm, Bushwhacked, Caracortado, Pleasant Prince, Schoolyard Dreams and Turf Melody.
Nick Zito said he’d probably wait a week before deciding, but he called Derby runner-up Ice Box “doubtful” for the second 3-year-old classic. Because he hadn’t run since March 20, Zito had to train him hard to go 1Ľ miles.
Bob Baffert blamed the rail draw and a bad trip for 6-1 favorite Lookin At Lucky’s defeat. Regarding the Preakness, Baffert told reporters, “I’ll keep you in suspense.”
Bet nets $900,000
The only person in America happier than Pletcher on Saturday was Glen Fullerton, whom 8-1 shot Super Saver enriched by $900,000. By winning CNBC’s Derby DreamBet sweepstakes, Fullerton was awarded a $100,000 Derby win bet, and the 40-year-old Texan made the pick of his life.
“My initial plan is to be back at work Monday morning,” the software consultant said. “This is definitely life-changing, but I don’t have to spend it all this week.”