October 3, 2022

Roadster back in Affirmed

Roadster wins the Santa Anita Derby
Roadster captured the 2019 Santa Anita Derby © BENOIT PHOTO

The Kentucky Derby didn’t work out as planned but Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Roadster can still make an impact in the second half of the season. He will get back to action in Sunday’s $100,000 Affirmed (G3) at Santa Anita.

One of three from Bob Baffert’s stable, Roadster heads a six-horse field in the 1 1/16-mile race. The gray son of Quality Road made a pair of juvenile starts last summer, winning his career debut and finishing third in the Del Mar Futurity (G1), and returned from a six-month layoff with sharp allowance triumph on March 1. Roadster came back five weeks later to stamp his Kentucky Derby ticket in the Santa Anita Derby, rallying past favored Game Winner to post a half-length decision.

The lightly-raced colt never got on track from post 15 over a sloppy track, traveling wide throughout to finish 16th, and Mike Smith will retake the mount after choosing another rival last time. Roadster shows four workouts in preparation over the 43-day interim.

Mucho Gusto could prove difficult to run down on the front end. A convincing winner of the Robert B. Lewis (G3) in early February, the Baffert trainee left the Kentucky Derby trail following a well-beaten third as the odds-on favorite in the Sunland Derby (G3). Mucho Gusto exits a romping tally in the seven-furlong Lazaro Barrera Memorial (G3) and the chestnut son of Mucho Macho Man will break from the far outside with Joe Talamo.

Kingly, who exits a third in the May 19 Alcatraz at Golden Gate Fields, completes the Baffert trio. Mario Gutierrez rides the well-bred Tapit colt.

Keith Desormeaux will send out Always Forgiven, who jumps straight to stakes company off a 5 ¾-length maiden win. Kent Desormeaux will be up on the $10,000 son of Blame. Alcatraz winner Visitant and Laz Barrera runner-up Manhattan Up complete the field.