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Roadster tops Santa Anita Derby (G1) exacta for Baffert barn
Saturday, April 6, 2019
Roadster (left) overtakes Game Winner in the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (G1) - Benoit photo
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Roadster ran down Game Winner in deep stretch in Saturday's $1 million Santa Anita Derby (G1) to give the Bob Baffert stablemates a 1-2 finish in the key west coast Kentucky Derby (G1) prep. 

Roadster earned his first 100 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge, while Game Winner upped his total to 85, assuring them both starting spots in the May 4th Run for the Roses.

Before the late drama ensued on Saturday, it was the highly-regarded Instagrand who took control early, setting the first half-mile pace of :47.84. Game Winner was getting a wide trip in fourth, while Roadster was tucked along the inside a few more lengths back in fifth.

Around the final bend, Game Winner went for the lead and took over just before entering the stretch. 
After dropping some eight lengths back, Roadster and Mike Smith began their rally, running down Game Winner in the final sixteenth to win by a half-length in 1:51.28 on the fast main track.

Naturally, Baffert was pleased with the performance of both colts.

"When Game Winner turned for home, I thought for sure Game Winner was going to win because he likes company," Baffert said. "But then when (Instagrand) was getting tired, (Game Winner) made the lead by himself.

"I saw a horse coming. I thought, 'Man, I hope that's my other horse,' and it was. Those are two really good horses."

Roadster, who placed third in last year's Del Mar Futurity (G1) behind Game Winner, was off until an easy allowance win on March 1. Saturday's victory marked the first stakes win for the Speedway Stable colt, who upped his bankroll to $706,200. He also gave Baffert a record ninth winner of the Santa Anita Derby, joining the likes of Justify, Point Given, and Pioneerof the Nile.

"You know what makes this the best?" Baffert added. "What we've been through (with the track closing at Santa Anita) this last month, and you see all these fans showed up here today. It's the best therapy that anybody can get, because everybody knows we love our horses, and we love our game." 

Baffert 2013