x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Jockey Borel predicts easier ride for Super Saver

The jockey feels his mount should have it better at the Preakness Stakes than he had during his electrifying triumph in the Kentucky Derby.

BALTIMORe // Super Saver should have an easier time in Saturday's US$1 million (Dh3.67m) Preakness Stakes than he had during his electrifying, rail-hugging triumph in the Kentucky Derby, according to Calvin Borel, his jockey. Although he acknowledged the bay colt was "peaking at the right time," Borel stopped short of predicting a Triple Crown triumph for the Kentucky-bred son of Maria's Mon.

"The Preakness should be a little easier on him than the Derby," said Borel. "It's a shorter race with sharp turns. I think he'll love them." Super Saver splashed his way to a two-and-a-half length victory in the 20-horse Derby at soggy Churchill Downs earlier this month, Borel skimming the rail much of the way for his third triumph in America's most prestigious race. Borel, who won the Preakness a year ago aboard the filly Rachel Alexandra, said he would try to hold Super Saver back in the final furlong if he knew victory was certain.

Smarty Jones won the 2004 Preakness by 11-and-a-half lengths but ran out of gas at the Belmont Stakes and missed out on becoming the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. Borel vowed not to make the same mistake as Smarty Jones's jockey Stewart Elliott. "If we're winning, I'm going to try to save my horse as much as I can," said Borel, a Louisiana native. "You've got to be back up in three weeks for the Belmont Stakes."

At a mile-and-three-sixteenths, the Preakness is the shortest of the Triple Crown races. "This will be the test," said Borel. "It's only been two weeks since he won the Derby. I worked him yesterday and he did everything on key, super good. He's a happy camper." * Reuters