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Super Saver a Tribute to His Late Sire

It was clear at the time that the death of Maria’s Mon – at the early age of 14 – was a severe loss to the industry, and subsequent events have only emphasized that fact. Champion of what turned out to be an exceptional juvenile crop, Maria’s Mon won four of his five starts at two, including the Sanford Stakes (gr. III), Futurity Stakes (gr. I), and Champagne Stakes (gr. I), accounting for such as Unbridled's Song (TrueNicks,SRO), Hennessy, Honour and Glory, Louis Quatorze, Gold Fever, and Editor’s Note. At three, he returned from an injury to run twice without winning. This anticlimactic end to his racing career coupled with a less-than-fashionable pedigree – he was by the Majestic Light stallion Wavering Monarch – saw his fee set at just $7,500 when he retired to Pin Oak Stud in Versailles, Kentucky.

From that inexpensively-sired first crop came nine stakes winners, headed by Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos, and graded winners Wander Mom and Silver Tornado. Maria’s Mon sired five more stakes winners in his second crop, including grade one winner See How She Runs, but none in his third, which at 53 foals was his smallest to date. Monarchos’s Kentucky Derby (gr. I) came in 2001 and as a result, Maria’s Mon’s book or mares for the next few years were of much higher quality. Having sired four graded winners from his fifth crop including Gaff (TrueNicks,SRO), High Limit, Watchmon, and Whimsy, Maria’s Mon really took off with his 2003 crop – the first conceived after Monarchos’s three-year-old campaign – which included the Champion Three-Year-Old Filly Wait a While; Malibu Stakes (gr. I) winner Latent Heat; Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) and Super Derby (gr. II) victor Strong Contender; and other graded winners Cause to Believe and Criminologist. The 2004 group yielded grade one winner Monzante and graded scorer Ice Bear, and the following year produced Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) victor Monba; Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) winner Mint Lane; and graded scorer Sky Mom. There was only one graded victor in Maria’s Mon’s 2006 crop, but his current three-year-olds include not only Super Saver (TrueNicks,SRO), who splashed his way to a decisive victory in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), but also other three-year-old graded scorers Exhi and Awesome Maria.

Super Saver has looked a potential classic candidate ever since his five length tally in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II). As we remarked at the time, he owns a “pedigree that suggests improvement with time and distance,” and what’s more, it was one that had already proved its ability to produce a classic horse. Super Saver’s dam, Supercharger, is a daughter of A.P. Indy and sister to graded stakes winners Daydreaming, Girolamo, and Accelerator, and also to the dam of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) runner-up Bluegrass Cat, who, like Super Saver, carried the colors of WinStar Farm and was trained by Todd Pletcher. The second dam, Get Lucky, is a graded stakes winning sister to Champion Two-Year-Old and Travers Stakes (gr. I) winner Rhythm. This is the Numbered Account branch of the La Troienne family that is also particularly notable for Private Account, Woodman, Mutakddim, and Not For Love, to name just a few. It’s no great surprise to see Maria’s Mon working with Supercharger. His sire Wavering Monarch is out of Uncommitted, who is by Buckpasser and inbred 4 x 4 to La Troienne via Busanda (dam of Buckpasser) and Bimelech (who comes in through Better Self, a reverse genetic relative to Busanda). Broodmare sire A.P. Indy is by Seattle Slew (dam inbred to La Troienne through the sisters Busher and Striking, both three-parts-sister to Busanda), and he has an extra cross of Buckpasser. And finally, Super Saver’s fourth dam, Numbered Account, is by Buckpasser and has the three-quarters related Busanda and Striking 2 x 3.

Super Saver is rated A++ by TrueNicks, but his isn’t a case of being wise after the event. TrueNicks rated the entire 2007 crop of Maria’s Mon before they had ever started. Super Saver was rated A++ then too, and out of curiosity, we can also note that the other graded winners from the crop, Awesome Maria and Exhi were rated A, and the ratings for the other stakes winners from the crop were Paris Vegas (A++), All About Maria (B+), and Turf Melody (B+).

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