With his victory in the Grade 1 American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita, Game Winner became the second horse to win a race on the Road to the 2019 Kentucky Derby. The son of Candy Ride remained unbeaten after three career starts and earned 10 Derby qualifying points.
Sent off at odds of .30-1, the Bob Baffert trainee drew off to win the race that had previously been known as the FrontRunner before the name was changed to honor the 2015 Triple Crown winner. The margin of victory was 4 ½ lengths and the winner earned a 97 BSF, the highest for any 2-year-old male or female this year.
In addition to the Kentucky Derby points, Game Winner earned a “Win and You’re In” spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs on Future Stars Friday, November 2.
“This horse tipped us off this summer that he was going to be a good one,” said Baffert. “He is strong and he still looks a little heavy. It’s exciting to have this horse. These horses sort themselves out. Circumstances dictate who gets there. I had one bullet here and I just want to keep him healthy; I don’t plan to do too much with him before the Breeders’ Cup. The good ones get there.”
Next on the Derby Trail: October 6 – the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland and the Champagne at Belmont Park.
Photo of Game Winner courtesy of Benoit Photography