08/29/2010 2:13PM

Super Saver faces tests to find out if anything's wrong

Barbara D. Livingston
Super Saver will be examined in Kentucky to determine if there is any physical reason for his poor performance in Saturday's Travers.


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Super Saver, the Kentucky Derby winner, will likely be sent to the Rood and Riddle Equine Clinic in Kentucky this week to get a thorough examination in the wake of his 10th-place finish to Afleet Express in Saturday’s $1 million Travers Stakes.

Though trainer Todd Pletcher said he could find nothing amiss with Super Saver - aside from some cuts on his legs - on Sunday morning, he and his owners, the WinStar Farm of Bill Casner and Kenny Troutt, want to do additional diagnostic tests on the colt.

“We feel like he’d run very well yesterday, felt like the Haskell would set him up good,” said Elliott Walden, racing manager for WinStar. “He didn’t run his race. I think from that standpoint we need to look into it further. He’s too valuable a horse not too look into it further.”

Super Saver raced in eighth position, within six lengths of the lead down the backside, but had no punch in the stretch.

“He got to the first turn in very good shape, thought he had a nice position following the winner then he emptied out,” Pletcher said.

Meanwhile, Miner’s Reserve, who set the pace in the Travers before fading to seventh, came out of the race with a badly bruised right front foot, according to trainer Nick Zito. Preliminary X-rays were negative, but Zito said further tests will be done.

Zito said Fly Down and Ice Box came out of the Travers in good order. He is not sure what’s next for Fly Down, but said Ice Box could either get a freshening or be tried on the turf.

Meanwhile, Afleet Express gave trainer Jimmy Jerkens the biggest win of his career Saturday when he nosed out Fly Down in the Travers Stakes. On Sunday morning, Jerkens was quite content to live in the moment, as opposed to looking ahead.

“Is there anything else?” Jerkens quipped when asked about what might be next for Afleet Express.

The most likely options for Afleet Express would be the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby for 3-year-olds at Philadelphia Park on Sept. 25, the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont on Oct. 2, or the $300,000 Monmouth Cup at Monmouth Park on Oct. 9.

Considering Jerkens is based in New York - and he passed up the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth last month after Afleet Express won the Pegasus over that track - the Gold Cup at 1 1/4 miles may be the next stop.

“That’s not out of the question,” Jerkens said. “Nice big, sweeping turns like that. We’ll kick everything around, that’s for sure.”

Afleet Express earned a career-best 105 Beyer Speed Figure for his Travers win.

Jerkens said Afleet Express looked good Sunday morning. Jerkens typically gives his horse two days off, gallops him on the third day, then gives him another day off. Jerkens said Afleet Express would likely ship back to Belmont Park in a week or 10 days.

Jerkens indicated that he hasn’t thought much about the Breeders’ Cup for Afleet Express, saying the colt would have to take him to the Classic as opposed to him pointing to that race.
First Dude, who finished third in the Travers, came out of the race well, but trainer Dale Romans said he has no plans for the consistent 3-year-old, who also has finished second in the Preakness, third in the Belmont and third in the Haskell.

Romans said all possibilities will be discussed for First Dude, including shortening up in distance or a possible switch to turf.

Romans said he did not see any change in First Dude with blinkers added.

Trappe Shot, who went off the 7-2 favorite, finished ninth, beaten 23 lengths as the 7-2 favorite. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said the horse had no real excuse and that he came out of the race “in real good shape.”

McLaughlin said that he told owners Nicholas and James Brady, who race under the name Mill House, that he would let Trappe Shot tell him when he’s ready and where to run next. Most likely, that would be in one-turn races, McLaughlin said.

“We’ll let him put some weight on and give him a little freshening,” McLaughlin said. “Hopefully, it’s just a little freshening.”

A Little Warm, the morning-line favorite who finished fifth as the 9-2 second choice, came out of the race in decent shape, trainer Tony Dutrow said.

“Seems good, seems quiet, didn’t eat great, but physically he’s good,” said Dutrow, who added he is not looking for a next start for the Jim Dandy winner.