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Baffert seeks history with trio of colts in Derby 145
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Roadster exercising on April 30 in preparation for the Kentucky Derby (G1) - Eclipse Sportswire photo
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After winning his fifth Kentucky Derby (G1) with Justify last year, trainer Bob Baffert could tie Ben Jones for the most wins for any trainer should any of his three entrants capture Saturday's Run for the Roses.

When entries were drawn on Tuesday morning, Improbable was assigned post 5, while Game Winner and Roadster are next to each other in posts 16 and 17, respectively.

Game Winner, last year's 2-year-old champion colt, is the 5-1 second choice on the morning line. The Gary and Mary West colt won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) over the Churchill surface last November and has been second in both his starts this year (G2 Rebel S. and G1 Santa Anita Derby). He'll be ridden by Joel Rosario on Saturday.

Roadster, owned by Speedway Stables, won the Santa Anita Derby, the first stakes victory of the son of Quality Road, winner of three of four lifetime starts. Roadster is attempting to become the first horse ever to win the Derby from post 17. He'll be ridden by Florent Geroux, who is also seeking his first Derby win.

Baffert noted that he bucked a big curse with Justify last year, when he became the first horse in over 100 years to win the Derby without starting as a 2-year-old.

“They also had that curse last year. Not that many horses run out of there but I’m OK. The 17 has been 0-for-40, but it’s like American Pharoah had the 18 and there was a scratch and he had the 17 for a day then he went to the 16. At the end of the day, you have to have the horse. If your horse shows up, that’s more important. After watching Big Brown gallop from the 20 hole (in 2008) it really doesn’t make a difference.” 

Improbable, with his natural speed, will likely be on or near the lead from post 5. Like Justify, he is owned by WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and Starlight Racing. Improbable was undefeated at 2 and finished second in the Rebel (G2) and Arkansas Derby (G1) this year. He'll be ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr. 

After that the draw was complete, Baffert was a bit relieved not having the favorite.

“I think it’s less stressful (not having the favorite). I think the expectations when you have the favorite is put on you but I think when I had the favorite with Pharoah or  Justify, it was their race to lose. There are a lot of nice horses in this race. Omaha Beach, he deserves to be the favorite. We’ll just see how it plays out.” 

Baffert 2013