Borel Looks Forward To Monmouth
Borel looks forward to riding Rachel, Super Saver at Monmouth
Jockey Calvin Borel has quite an arsenal lined up for his return to Monmouth Park in the coming weeks. On Saturday, the 43-year-old Borel will pilot reigning Horse of the Year RACHEL ALEXANDRA (Medaglia d'Oro) as she returns to the Jersey Shore for the $400,000 Lady's Secret S. Eight days later, Borel will receive a leg up on Kentucky Derby (G1) winner SUPER SAVER (Maria's Mon) in the $1 million Haskell Invitational (G1).
"Rachel is doing really well," Borel said. "(Trainer) Steve (Asmussen) seems like he's really got her right. After her last race (a 10 1/2-length demolition job in the June 12 Fleur de Lis H. [G2] at Churchill Downs), I think she's back on the top of her game. I've been watching her work when she was down at Churchill and from what I can see, she's back.
"From what I hear, Super Saver is doing very well. He put on a little weight, which is good to hear because he really had to run hard in the Derby. He's not a big horse at all, and I think the Derby and Preakness ([G1], where he finished a subpar eighth) took a little out of him."
Aside from being able to ride two of the best-known horses in the sport, Borel says he's looking forward to returning to Monmouth Park for the fans.
"The way the fans reacted to Rachel last year in the Haskell was unbelievable," Borel said of the filly's six-length conquest of eventual champion three-year-old male Summer Bird. "Maybe it's because she's a filly and for her to beat the boys the way she did was really something special. Rachel did everything we asked her to do last year, and the fans really appreciated that."
Rachel Alexandra is scheduled to ship from Saratoga to Monmouth on Tuesday. A short field is expected for the 1 1/8-mile Lady's Secret, which is named for the 1986 Horse of the Year.
"It looks like she'll be facing four or five rivals," Monmouth Park Racing Secretary Mike Dempsey said. "The race will be drawn on Wednesday when we'll obviously know for sure, but right now my best estimate is a field of five, perhaps six."
Those considering challenging the champion are HARK (Street Cry [Ire]), from the Ian Wilkes barn; QUEEN MARTHA (Rahy), trained by Patrick Biancone; Obeah S. (G3) third STAGE TRICK (Distorted Humor), from the Alan Goldberg camp; stakes winner STARSHIP ANGEL (Running Stag), a Kiaran McLaughlin trainee; and stakes winner YES SHE'S A LADY (Yes It's True), from team Todd Pletcher.
In the August 1 Haskell, Borel will attempt to become the first jockey ever to win back-to-back editions of Monmouth's richest race.
"I spoke with Elliott Walden (director of racing for WinStar Farms) the other day and he told me that Super Saver looks great and is really training well," Borel said. "He's had a bit of a break since the Preakness, and it looks like a pretty tough field, but he should be ultra-tough in there."
Likely to challenge Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver in the Haskell are champion LOOKIN AT LUCKY (Smart Strike), winner of the Preakness; FIRST DUDE (Stephen Got Even), second in the Preakness and third in the Belmont S. (G1); TRAPPE SHOT (Tapit), winner of the Long Branch S. at Monmouth on July 10; UPTOWNCHARLYBROWN (Limehouse), victor of the Pasco S. earlier this year; Withers S. (G3) winner AFLEET AGAIN (Afleet Alex), runner-up in the June 19 Pegasus S. (G3) at Monmouth; and one or two from the Nick Zito barn, possibly Derby runner-up ICE BOX (Pulpit).
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