Michael Pressley and Steed Jackson’s Super Steed (Super Saver), tabbed a ‘TDN Rising Star’ after breaking his maiden in a Churchill Downs optional claimer last November, rebounded from a pair of off-the-board stakes efforts with an emphatic victory as a 62-1 outlier in the GIII Southwest S. at Oaklawn Park Monday.
“He’s a nice horse,” said winning trainer Larry Jones. “It’s been a while since [jockey] Terry [Thompson] and I have been in this position. This is wonderful.”
Super Steed settled near the back of the pack as Gray Attempt (Graydar) and Jersey Agenda (Jersey Town) vied for the early lead. Jersey Agenda squeezed Gray Attempt going into the first turn and both speedsters were carried out on the bend before matching strides again once straightened for the backstretch run, but Gray Attempt was rank and fighting jockey Shaun Bridgmohan through a half-mile in :47.63. A host of challengers were lining up turning for home, with Super Steed making eye-catching progress while five wide. He catapulted out of the turn and into the lead in the blink of an eye and pulled away despite drifting in and out down the lane. Sueno (Atreides) came flying late to cut it close at the wire, finishing about a length back, while Long Range Toddy (Take Charge Indy) rounded out the trifecta.
“Larry said wherever we were, make sure he gets the lead heading into stretch,” said Thompson. “He has a big heart.”
Of his trip aboard the winner, Thompson said, “He ran just a beautiful race. He wasn’t as aggressive. The other day [in the Smarty Jones], he got shuffled back, but he was aggressive. Today everything was in flow. It worked out perfect.”
After his eventful trip into the first turn, Gray Attempt faded to 11th.
“Very unsportsmanlike what they did,” said trainer Jinks Fires. “I don’t mind them outrunning us, making us keep running. But don’t come in and wipe me out.”
Super Steed came up a head short of fellow ‘Rising Star’ Boldor (Munnings) when second in his Oct. 25 debut at Keeneland, but easily bested that foe when they met in the allowance ranks next time out. He overcame a troubled start to score a six-length victory going 6 1/2 furlongs over a sloppy Churchill track Nov. 24. Stepped up to stakes company for his third start, Super Steed came home only fourth, beaten seven lengths by the front-running Gray Attempt, as the even-money favorite in the Dec. 22 Sugar Bowl S. at Fair Grounds. He never threatened over a speed-favoring track when seventh behind Gray Attempt in the one-mile Smarty Jones S. at Oaklawn last time out Jan. 25.
“He got sick going into the Fair Grounds race,” Jones said. “It wasn’t serious, but you could tell he didn’t feel well. And, in the Smarty Jones they ran a Merry-Go-Round race.”
Totally Tucker produced a colt by Empire Maker in 2017 and a filly by Street Sense in 2018 before being bred back to Hard Spun. Out of Champagne Royale, she is a half-sister to Grade I winners Majestic Harbor (Rockport Harbor) and Danza (Street Boss). Breeder and co-owner Michael Pressley purchased Totally Tucker for $20,000 at the 2010 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Pressley signed the ticket at $15,000 on the mare’s Empire Maker colt at last year’s Keeneland September sale. Pressley, a Henderson, Kentucky-based entrepeneur, also campaigned graded stakes winner Payton d’Oro (Medaglia d’Oro).
Super Steed is the ninth graded stakes winner and 18 stakes winner for GI Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, whose son Inside Straight also enjoyed graded success at Oaklawn when he won the 2017 GII Oaklawn H.
Monday, Oaklawn Park
SOUTHWEST S.-GIII, $500,000, Oaklawn, 2-18, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:44.05, ft.
1–SUPER STEED, 117, c, 3, by Super Saver
1st Dam: Totally Tucker, by Elusive Quality
2nd Dam: Champagne Royale, by French Deputy
3rd Dam: All Tanked Up, by Tank’s Prospect
‘TDN Rising Star’ 1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES
WIN. O-Michael Pressley & Steed Jackson; B-Mike Pressley
(KY); T-J. Larry Jones; J-Terry J. Thompson. $300,000. Lifetime
Record: 5-2-1-0, $364,500. Werk Nick Rating: N/A (first SW
from this cross).
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Sueno, 117, c, 3, Atreides–Class Above, by Quiet American.
($1,500 Wlg ’16 KEENOV; $61,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-Silverton
Hill LLC; B-Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings, Inc (KY); T-J. Keith
3–Long Range Toddy, 119, c, 3, Take Charge Indy–Pleasant
Song, by Unbridled’s Song. O/B-Willis Horton Racing LLC (KY);
T-Steven M. Asmussen. $50,000.
Margins: 3/4, 1 1/4, 1 1/4. Odds: 62.30, 7.60, 7.90.
Also Ran: Six Shooter, Bankit, Boldor, Cutting Humor, Jersey Agenda, Ninth Street, Olympic Runner, Gray Attempt. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.