Dedicated to the HATRED of all things trOJan


Leroy Neiman eat your heart out.

Did you choose wisely?  Calvin Borel and his mount Super Saver take the inside path to a Kentucky Derby win, giving the jockey called “Bo-rail” a miraculous TRINITY of Derby Triumphs IN FOUR YEARS, a Sport of Kings barrier that no one before could Cross

It’s a Three-out-of-Fourpeat.  Jockey Calvin Borel made history on Saturday, by becoming the first rider ever to win the Kentucky Derby three times in four years.  Stevens, McCarron, Cordero, Pincay, Shoemaker, Arcaro, Longden:  None of them did it.  Over 45 years ago, Bill Hartack won 3 out of 5, but Borel just outdid that, with his mud-covered victory on Saturday aboard Super Saver.

It is usually more about the Horse than about the Jockey, but on Saturday, the Derby was wide open, and the track was treacherous-looking due a rainstorm.  The race was so up-for-grabs that the favorite had odds of 6-1, equal to the highest odds EVER for a Derby Favorite.  And the track was so sloppy, that a jockey who knew Churchill Downs would have an advantage.  So Calvin Borel, who is KNOWN for finding his way to the inside rail, was pretty important to Super Saver’s win.

8-1 Super Saver usually runs closer to the lead than he did on Saturday, but due to a pace that was too fast for the conditions, Borel laid him in 6th position… hugging the rail, of course, right from the outset.  Borel says that he was taught that “it’s the shortest way around the track,” and on Saturday, he was right.  While other horses were struggling with the mud and muck, Super Saver found a path on the rail with slop that was to his liking.  And as the 5 horses in front of him started to fade, Super Saver kept coming stronger.  He stayed on the rail until the pace setter, who was also on the rail, ran out of gas.  Borel quickly navigated around that horse, and had the lead coming down the stretch.  The come-from-behind favorite wasn’t able to show his stuff, but another one, Icebox, was, and made it interesting.  Icebox came flying down the middle of the track, gaining mightily on Super Saver.  But Borel didn’t pull a Shoemaker and stop riding prematurely.  Super Saver held off Icebox for the Roses, and Borel had re-written History.

After the race, Borel predicted that he and Super Saver will win this year’s Triple Crown, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since 1978.  Maybe Icebox will have something to say about that, as the third leg of the Triple Crown is a much longer race, and on Saturday, it looked like Icebox would have prevailed if the race were ANY longer.  But don’t bet against Borel.  In fact, last year Borel flirted with another first:  He almost won a personal Jockey Triple Crown, with two different horses:  He won the Derby on 50-1 Mine That Bird, and then the Preakness, when he controversially abandoned Mine That Bird to ride the filly Rachel Alexandra.  But in the Belmont, back on Mine That Bird, as a 6-5 favorite, he finished 3rd.  I was mad at him for blowing off a Derby Winner in the Preakness, but he apparently had an understanding with the Owners, and felt he had no choice but to buck tradition and ride the markedly better horse.

This year, there is no reason to switch, and Borel will have a chance to make History once again, potentially breaking a spell of 32 years without a Triple Crown.  

"WHOLLY RAIL TO HOLY GRAIL" was published on May 2nd, 2010 and is listed in Non-Rivalry News.

Comments on "WHOLLY RAIL TO HOLY GRAIL": 1 Comment

  1. Rick wrote,

    Well written and astute article. Ice Box was forced to check sharply in the stretch or he’d have been wearing the roses.
    And Borel, who knows Churchill Downs like the back of his hand and has no fear, has accomplished an astounding feat.
    Agree that Super Saver has a huge shot to win the Preakness, yet would expect Ice Box to blow by him in the Belmont.
    Nice takes. Would love to see more articles like this–not everyone comes to your site just for the cheer shots!

Copyright © 2007 All photos and stories herein are sole property of
Any commercial re-use without express written permission is strictly prohibited, and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.