Baffert was asked last year about which horse would be his next big star and he had no hesitation naming Roadster as the likely one to emerge from his stable.Roadster showed he was all that and more on Saturday when he won a duel with Game Winner, last season’s champion 2YO, to propel both to a start in next month’s Kentucky Derby.
Roadster was impressive as he came from the back of the field and found more under pressure to fend off the challenge of Game Winner to score by half a length.“It was a great finish,” Baffert said.
“They were both fighting. At the eighth pole I knew I was going to win, I just didn’t know which one, but it was exciting.“They’ll both like a mile and a quarter and I think Game Winner’s next race will be better. I’ve been bringing him along really easy.”
• In New York Tacitus solidified his position in the Kentucky Derby field by winning the G2 Wood Memorial, giving him the points lead on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.The Bill Mott-trained Tacitus was involved in traffic around the first turn and had to wait out an inquiry to be declared the official winner over Tax after the pair battled down the straight.
Tacitus has now won two stakes races, having landed the G2 Tampa Bay Derby in March.• At Keeneland the George Weaver-trained Vekoma clinched his Derby berth when he bounced back from his only career loss to land the G1 Bluegrass Stakes.
After surrendering his perfect record on his seasonal debut, the Candy Ride colt was dominant beating Win Win Win by three and a half lengths before a Keeneland opening Saturday attendance record of 34,775.“I’ve really never had a colt like this in all the time I’ve trained,” said Weaver.
“I’m pretty torn up - I grew up in Kentucky and came to the Bluegrass when I was a kid. Winning this race is very special.”• Quality Road filly Bellafina provided her sire with a G1 double at Santa Anita on Saturday when she won the Santa Anita Oaks for her third straight victory to lay her claim to being the top 3YO filly in the nation.