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Roadster, Game Winner Put in Final Works Ahead of Derby
By BloodHorse Staff
Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Roadster and juvenile champion Game Winner were among those to breeze over the Santa Anita Park main track April 26, both turning in their final works in preparation for the May 4 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) at Churchill Downs.
Working in company on a fast track after the 6:45 a.m. renovation break, Roadster completed six furlongs in 1:13 4/5, and Game Winner covered seven furlongs in 1:27 after the 7:45 break, each horse with jockey Martin Garcia in the irons. Once On Whiskey worked with Roadster and was clocked in 1:01 1/5 for five furlongs. Show Me Da Lute worked with Game Winner, getting five furlongs in 1:00 3/5.
“I loved the way he went,” trainer Bob Baffert said of Roadster. “Martin said he felt great and didn’t take a deep breath. That’s one thing about this horse—he’ll go a mile and a quarter. We just don’t know how fast. He handles a deep track, and the really good ones will do that.
“He’ll be fit when he leaves here because I think the Santa Anita Derby got him pretty fit. After that, I could see a big change in him. He really needed that race. As soon as I told him to pick it up, he took off. He was controlling the work and just cruising along. … If the horse is good enough, he’s ready.”
Both Roadster and Game Winner breezed inside their workmates.
“I had them inside just to keep the pressure on,” Baffert explained. “That way I can control their works.
“Game Winner looked awesome; it was perfect,” added Baffert, who will leave for Kentucky Friday afternoon, with the two horses set to depart early Saturday and join stablemate Improbable, already bedded down in Louisville.
“They all have different styles,” Baffert said. “They’re not going to get in each other’s way. Now we have one more stressful moment. That’s the draw. Then it’s time for the mint juleps.”