Bob Baffert had a question after both Roadster and McKinzie drew the rail for their respective races Saturday, the Santa Anita Derby and the Santa Anita Handicap at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.: “Do they put me in the one hole and then draw the races?”
The answer, of course, is no. It just seems that way. Post positions aside, Baffert is seeking his ninth win in the $1-million Santa Anita Derby which offers 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the winner. He's trying to notch his sixth victory in the $600,000 Big 'Cap.
Second in the Santa Anita Derby is worth 40 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, third 20 and fourth 10.
Baffert also has champion Game Winner in the Santa Anita Derby. The once-beaten son of Candy Ride got the extreme outside six post position in the 1 1/8-mile race.
“I would have liked to have seen Roadster on the outside and Game Winner on the inside,” Baffert said. “Seriously, I'm just glad that we're in there. It's a very important race, more important for Roadster, who has to get some points.
“I'm glad things are settling down here and we get some racing in with all that's been going on.”
Game Winner already has 45 points for the Run for the Roses on May 4, while Roadster is looking to get off the schneid. Still, on paper, it's a competitive field with the likes of Instagrand and Nolo Contesto among the six Triple Crown hopefuls.
“I think Instagrand is a very good horse,” Baffert said. “But all you can ask for is that your horses show up and run well. I'd like to see some safe racing.”
The Santa Anita Derby, race eight: Roadster, Mike Smith, 5-2; More Ice, Geovanni Franco, 30-1; Nolo Contesto, Joe Talamo, 6-1; Synthesis, Rafael Bejarano, 30-1; Instagrand, Flavien Prat, 3-1; and Game Winner, Joel Rosario, 4-5.
The Santa Anita Handicap presented by San Manuel Casino goes as race 10: McKinzie, Mike Smith, 4-5; Mongolian Groom, Geovanni Franco, 30-1; Prime Attraction, Kent Desormeaux, 5-1; Gift Box, Joel Rosario, 6-5; Prince of Arabia, Joe Talamo, 30-1; and Campaign, Rafael Bejarano, 15-1.
In addition to the Big 'Cap and the Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita will showcase the Santa Anita Oaks for fillies at 1 1/16 miles; the $200,000 Echo Eddie Stakes for three-year-olds at 6 ½ furlongs; the $200,000 Evening Jewel Stakes for three-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs; the Grade II, $200,000 Royal Heroine Stakes for older fillies and mares at one mile on turf; and the Grade III, $150,000 Providencia Stakes for three-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on the grass.
First post time for the biggest day in racing to date this year will be 12 noon.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2020 Paulick Report.