LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Calvin Borel boldly predicted he's going to win the Triple Crown after Super Saver sloshed to a 2½-length victory Saturday in the 136th Kentucky Derby.
Ever-cautious trainer Todd Pletcher likes the rail-hugging rider's confidence.
"I don't think I've ever had a jockey come to the paddock more focused," he said Sunday. "I would equate it to someone coming out for a heavyweight fight. He was so in the zone and pumped up. Didn't have much to say, but you could just see the intensity on his face."
The win ended Pletcher's 0-for-24 skid in the Derby.
"This is wonderful, but you kind of start thinking about moving forward and what the next plans are and how you're going to get there," the trainer said after ducking out of a drenching rain.
Pletcher plans to keep Super Saver at Churchill Downs for training before shipping him four days ahead of the May 15 Preakness at Pimlico in Baltimore.
Last year, Borel won the Preakness aboard filly Rachel Alexandra, beating Mine That Bird, whom he rode to victory in the Derby. Borel returned to Mine That Bird for the Belmont, where they finished third.
"We're going to win the Triple Crown this year," Borel said.
Several potential rivals await in the 11/16-mile Preakness, which is limited to 14 starters.
One is Dublin, the seventh-place runner in the Derby. His trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, was beaten by Pletcher, his former assistant. Other possible starters from the Derby are third-place Paddy O'Prado and Jackson Bend, who was 12th.
Trainer Nick Zito said runnerup Ice Box was doubtful for the Preakness after getting checked three times in the Derby.
INITIAL RATINGS UP: The Derby's overnight television ratings were the highest in 18 years — a 10.3 rating (percentage of all TVs) and 23 share (percentage of TVs on at the time), NBC said. It's the highest overnight rating since Lil E Tee won in 1992, drawing a 10.9 overnight. Overnight ratings measure the nation's largest markets. Final viewership numbers and national ratings will be announced Tuesday.