May 19, 2022

Roadster the top draw in Native Diver

Roadster winning at Santa Anita earlier this year (c) Benoit Photo

Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Roadster, a nose second in the Damascus on the Breeders’ Cup Saturday undercard, had been under consideration for next Friday’s $600,000 Clark (G1) at Churchill Downs, but trainer Bob Baffert decided to enter him instead in Saturday’s $100,000 Native Diver (G3) at Del Mar.

Installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite among six runners, Roadster earned a career-best 103 BRIS Speed rating when rallying for second last time. The three-year-old colt will add the services of Drayden Van Dyke for the 1 1/8-mile race.

Claimed for $25,000 nearly two years ago, Two Thirty Five has come to hand in recent months for trainer Richard Baltas. The five-year-old gelding earned his first stakes win in the Harry F. Brubaker at Del Mar two starts back and registered a career-best 101 BRIS Speed rating finishing a neck second most recently in the October 27 Comma to the Top at Santa Anita. The 3-1 second choice will keep Abel Cedillo in the saddle.

Leading Score looks like the one to catch from his rail post. A nose second in the Brubaker, the Baffert trainee will try to make amends for a third as the favorite in the Comma to the Top. The lightly raced five-year-old shows a pair of bullet works in preparation and Joe Talamo picks up the mount on the 7-2 co-third choice.

Comma to the Top upsetter Midcourt is also 7-2 on the morning line. The four-year-old gelding will bring a three-race win streak to his graded stakes debut, breaking his maiden at Santa Anita and winning an entry-level allowance at Del Mar prior to the Comma to the Top, and Victor Espinoza will guide the stalker for John Shirreffs.

Completing the field are Damascus third-placer Extra Hope and Marathon (G2) runner-up Zestful.