WinStar Farm strengthened its position for the 2010 classics and Calvin Borel salvaged a tie for the jockey crown at the Churchill Downs fall meet when Super Saver rolled to a front-running romp Saturday in the Grade 2, $191,250 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes.
Super Saver, a Maria's Mon colt trained by Todd Pletcher, went straight to the lead in the 1 1/16-mile KJC, turned back mild bids from Worldly and Activity Report near the quarter pole, and sped clear to score by five lengths. He paid $6.80 as second choice in a field of nine in the 83rd KJC, which was co-featured on the closing-day, 2-year-old-only program known as "Stars of Tomorrow."
William's Kitten rallied late to be second, another 4 1/2 lengths before Worldly, who had a half-length on Activity Report. Thiskyhasnolimit, the 8-5 favorite off a victory in the Nov. 1 Iroquois Stakes, was never a factor after breaking poorly and finished sixth under Robby Albarado.
For WinStar, the central Kentucky powerhouse owned by Bill Casner and Kenny Troutt, Super Saver becomes another top-flight prospect for next year. The stable already has American Lion, Drosselmeyer, and several other promising 2-year-olds in their arsenal.
Super Saver, fourth in the Grade 1 Champagne in his prior start, earned $113,832 after finishing in 1:42.83 over a fast track. It was his second victory from four career races.
WinStar racing manager Elliott Walden said before the KJC that Super Saver was considered for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile before the more prudent decision was made to save him for the KJC. The colt will leave soon for Pletcher's main winter base in south Florida.
"It's very exciting to have a well-bred colt that's good-looking with all the tools and obviously getting better as the year goes along," Pletcher, who was not present, said by phone. "I'll talk to Elliott and come up with a game plan on what we'll do."
For Borel, the KJC victory was his third, following Dollar Bill (2000) and Beethoven (2008). Even for all the stakes Pletcher has won in Kentucky, the KJC was his first.
Borel won four races on the 12-race Saturday finale, allowing him to tie Julien Leparoux for the jockey title at the 21-day fall meet. Borel and Leparoux, who missed the last two days to ride in Japan, both won 27 races. Borel, who rode in all 12 races Saturday, had a chance to win the crown outright with Outlaw Man in the last race of the meet, but the colt ran a close second before being disqualified to fourth. Borel had gone 0 for 9 Friday.
The last race, for maidens going 1 1/18 miles on turf, was won by Doubles Partner ($32.40), a WinStar colt also trained by Pletcher.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey were the leading owners, and Steve Asmussen was the leading trainer.
There were meet-ending mandatory payouts in the carryover bets. With no perfect tickets in the $2 pick six (8-3-1-5-2-12), 5 of 6 winners returned $2,840.40, while having a perfect ticket in the $1 Super High Five (12-13-4-5-3), held on the last race, paid $26,055.40.