ELMONT, N.Y. - Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, whose Triple Crown hopes were dashed by an eighth-place finish in Saturday's Preakness Stakes, arrived at Belmont Park Sunday morning and will get a brief freshening before being pointed for a summer/fall campaign.
Trainer Todd Pletcher said Monday that Super Saver will be in light training for the immediate future with the idea of freshening him up for the $500,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 31 or the $1 million Haskell Invitational on Aug. 1 at Monmouth Park.
Pletcher added that the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6 is the main goal for Super Saver.
Pletcher said that Super Saver definitely lost a bit of weight through the spring. From March 13 through May 15, Super Saver ran in the Tampa Bay Derby (third), Arkansas Derby (second), and Kentucky Derby (first) before the Preakness. He also shipped from Florida to Arkansas to Kentucky to Baltimore and finally to New York.
"I think he's physically handled it well," Pletcher said. "Like most horses that will run three races in five weeks, they're going to lose a little bit of weight, which is about what we expected. I think he's mentally held up really well, but as expected he's lost a few pounds."
Pletcher said Super Saver would alternate between jogging, galloping, and walking for the next several weeks.
"He won't breeze for a while," Pletcher said.
Though Pletcher hasn't finished worse than third with the last five horses he has run in the Belmont Stakes since 2006 - Rags to Riches won it in 2007 - Pletcher will most likely skip the race this year. He said Monday the filly Devil May Care, who finished 10th in the Kentucky Derby, is "likely for the Mother Goose and unlikely for the Belmont." The Mother Goose, restricted to 3-year-old fillies, will be run June 26 and will not include the Kentucky Oaks winner, Blind Luck.
Pletcher has plans for some of his other 3-year-olds who were on the Triple Crown trail. Mission Impazible, ninth in the Kentucky Derby after winning the Louisiana Derby, will be pointed to the Grade 3 Pegasus at Monmouth Park on June 19. Discreetly Mine, 13th in the Kentucky Derby, will make his next start in the Grade 2, $250,000 Woody Stephens going seven furlongs here on Belmont Stakes Day.
Pletcher noted that Rule, the Sam F. Davis winner who did not run in the Kentucky Derby, is getting a freshening at WinStar Farm and may rejoin his New York stable in the next month.
Drosselmeyer works, Make Music for Me arrives
Drosselmeyer, the runner-up to Fly Down in the Dwyer Stakes here on May 8, worked four furlongs in 47.64 seconds Monday morning as he continues preparation for a start in the $1 million Belmont Stakes on June 5.
Trainer Bill Mott caught the final quarter of the work in 23.60 seconds.
"For him being solo he worked very good," Mott said.
While disappointed Drosselmeyer was beaten six lengths by Fly Down in the Dwyer, Mott thought it was a useful prep race.
"It wasn't a horrible race," Mott said. "We gave up a little bit at the start. He slipped leaving there, he may have lost a little bit of position."
Kent Desormeaux, who rode Drosselmeyer in the Dwyer, will be replaced, but no decision on his replacement had been made as of Monday.
Meanwhile, Make Music for Me, the fourth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, arrived in New York Monday following a short flight from Kentucky. Make Music for Me had been stabled at Keeneland since shortly after the Derby. He worked twice over Keeneland's synthetic surface, including a five-furlong move in 1:03.20 on Sunday.
Trainer Alexis Barba said she wanted to give Make Music for Me a chance to get accustomed to Belmont's main track. The Kentucky Derby was Make Music for Me's first start on a dirt surface, albeit the Churchill Downs track was sloppy. Make Music for Me has yet to run on a dry dirt track.
"I've heard too many stories," Barba said. "You better get two works over it; that's the theory."
Last year, trainer Tim Ice got three works into Summer Bird over Belmont's main track before upsetting the Belmont Stakes at 11-1.
Barba said Make Music for Me would work on Sunday. She also confirmed that Joel Rosario, who rode the horse in the Derby, would be back on for the Belmont.
Trainer Richard Mandella said Monday that Setsuko "is on the fence" regarding the Belmont after a slow workout on Sunday at Santa Anita. Mandella said he would work the colt again this weekend before deciding whether to ship or not.