A lily by any other name
Updated: August 30, 2010, 5:26 PM ETBy Amanda Duckworth | Special to ESPN.com
For the second year in a row, it has become pretty clear that the winner of the Kentucky Oaks has been far more legitimate than the winner of the Kentucky Derby. On Aug. 21, Blind Luck defeated her main rival for end-of-the-year honors, Devil May Care, in the Alabama. A week later, Super Saver finished 10th of 11 in the Travers. If they were ever to face each other, it is a fair guess the filly would go off as the favorite. In all fairness, Super Saver is scheduled to undergo testing to make sure nothing is wrong below the surface. The Maria's Mon colt has clearly gone off form since his victory on the first Saturday in May. Of course, it seems equally as likely that Super Saver benefited from the off track and another amazing ride from Calvin Borel in the Derby. At the end of the day, he may just be a horse for the course. Given that the Breeders' Cup will be held at Churchill this year, that may not be a bad thing. Just ask Street Sense. Last year's Derby winner, Mine That Bird, has also failed to find the winner's circle since his historic win. He finished second in the Preakness and third in the Belmont, but has also gone off form. His next start is scheduled to be the Woodward on Sept. 4. With his dead game victory in the Travers, Afleet Express became the first horse since Coronado's Quest in 1998 to win the race after skipping the entire Triple Crown series. As of now an appearance in the Breeders' Cup is unlikely, according to trainer Jimmy Jerkens. Given the results of the Travers and the fact Afleet Express is likely to sit out of the Breeders' Cup, it appears that Preakness and Haskell victor Lookin At Lucky will be champion 3-year-old male at the end of the year. Barring some unforeseen phenom stealing the title away, Lookin At Lucky will become the first horse since Spectacular Bid in 1979 to be named champion 3-year-old colt after previously being named champion 2-year-old colt. Blind Luck, meanwhile, is the definition of a heart attack runner. Her come-from-behind style means that she has a tendency to nail horses at the wire. She has won nine of 12 lifetime starts, and is undefeated on a traditional dirt track. Currently, she is being pointed toward the Ladies Classic. One day after Super Saver ran the worst raced of his career, last year's Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra finished second to Persistently in the Personal Ensign while attempting the 1¼-mile distance for the first time.
Benoit PhotoBlind Luck and jockey Tyler Baze pose after winning the 2009 Oak Leaf Stakes at Santa Anita.