Monday, December 26, 2011

Stallion Feature: Super Saver

In 2010, for the first time ever, I watched the Kentucky Derby from the racetrack rather than through the television. It wasn’t Churchill Downs, but it was Lone Star Park. I was helping Remember Me Rescue raise money from a Moneigh ® raffle, standing at a table inside one of the grandstand entrances, where we were selling raffle tickets. As it grew closer to post time for the Run for the Roses, my mother, a friend of mine, and I headed to the third floor of the grandstand to eat dinner. As we settled into our seats that overlooked the track, my eyes focused on the JumboTron where the footage of the Derby was being played.
My top Derby pick – Mission Impazible – couldn’t get the job done and finished ninth. Instead, I was smiling and shaking my head when I realized it was Calvin Borel that had guided Super Saver to victory in WinStar Farm's silks. It had been the jockey’s third Derby win in four years.
Unfortunately, the Kentucky Derby was Super Saver’s last moment of glory on the racetrack. Two months after a disappointing finish in the Travers Stakes (GI), the Derby winner was officially retired due to condylar bruising. He found a new home in WinStar Farm’s immaculate stallion barn in Versailles, Kentucky.
When I visited Kentucky for my first Breeders’ Cup in 2010, I saw the bay while on a tour at WinStar. Since Super Saver had been retired so recently, I hadn’t expected for him to be there yet, so it was quite the treat to see that year’s Derby winner in person. Though new to the laid-back life of a stallion in the fall, Super Saver stood calmly in the stallion’s circle, which allowed me to assess his conformation.

Super Saver
Photo: Terri Cage

The 2010 Kentucky Derby winner has wide-set eyes and a long, thin neck. His neck does not tie into his shoulder perfectly and though his shoulder is slightly steeper than I would like to see, he is a very well-balanced individual with a shorter topline in correlation to a longer underline. He could therefore be easily divided into three parts and is overall very proportional. He is very straight through his knees and has short cannon bones and a desirable slope to his pasterns. Though not massive with muscling, Super Saver possesses quality muscling, as he is deep through the V and has great delineation and smoothness to his forearms and gaskins. Overall, Super Saver has a very smooth, elegant build.
“Derby Champion – Derby Pedigree”
By the 1995 Champion Two-Year-Old Male in Maria’s Mon, Super Saver was the second Derby winner his late sire produced, the first being Monarchos, who ran the second fastest Kentucky Derby ever. Maria’s Mon sired several other grade one winners, including Awesome Maria, Latent Heat, Monba, Monzante, See How She Runs, and Wait a While.
Super Saver’s dam, the Phipps-bred mare Supercharger, is out of a blue hen in Get Lucky - a grade three-winning daughter of the influential Mr. Prospector - and is by one of the all-time great sires, A.P. Indy. Supercharger is a full sister to the grade one-winning Girolamo, the multiple graded stakes-winning Daydreaming, the grade three-winning Accelerator, and She’s a Winner – the dam of the grade one-winning and multiple classic-placed Bluegrass Cat, the multiple graded stakes-winning Lord of the Game, the stakes-winning Sonoma Cat, and the graded stakes-placed Cal Nation. Supercharger is also a half-sister to the group stakes-placed Fighting Brave and the stakes-winning Harborage. Supercharger herself is quite the producer. Not only has she produced a Kentucky Derby winner in Super Saver, who also won the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (GII) in stakes record time, but she has also produced the grade three-winning Brethren. It is not surprising that Super Saver has such an incredible dam side, as it directly traces back to the legendary La Troienne.
Super Saver’s first foals will hit the ground in 2012 and he will yet again stand at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Kentucky for $20,000. As a direct descendant of the great La Troienne with sire power to support his magnificent dam side, Super Saver has one of the most imposing pedigrees of any stallion standing at stud. In addition to his spectacular pedigree, Super Saver is a Kentucky Derby winner with elegant conformation. It can’t get much better than that.

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