Super Saver gave trainer Todd Pletcher his long-awaited Kentucky Derby victory Saturday.
Asked what he was feeling after his first Derby win in 24 starts, Pletcher said: "It's a joy. Everybody kept saying we had one with our name written on it. I didn't take anything for granted. It feels awfully good."
Last Sunday, Pletcher's hopes for the win dimmed when he had to withdraw pre-Derby favorite, Eskendereya. But with four entries in the race, Pletcher still had a fifth of the field of the 136th Derby.
Racing along in the mud, jockey Calvin Borel made another miraculous Derby run along the rail, scooting off it to pass only one horse, and finally give Pletcher the coveted roses.
"I had him where I wanted," Borel said. "I had him off the pace and he relaxed good. The first time I rode him I won on the lead, but in the last race I took him back and learned a lot about him."
Borel won last year's Derby on Mine That Bird and in 2007 aboard Street Sense.
Of his third Derby win in four years, Borel said: "It never gets old."
Streaking up from the outside, Ice Box, ridden by Jose Lezcano, came in second, followed by Paddy O'Prado, ridden by Kent Desormeaux.
Super Saver, a son of the late Maria's Mon, is owned by his breeder, WinStar Farm of Versailles, Ky.
Super Saver paid $18 to win for a $2 bet, $8.80 for place, $6 to show.
Ice Box paid $11.20 to place, $8 to show; Paddy O'Prado paid $7.40.