Speedway Stable LLC’s Roadster rallied to take the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and earned 100 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby (G1). The once-beaten colt will head to Churchill Downs as one of the favorites to capture the Run for the Roses.
Trained by Bob Baffert, the gray three-year-old was a stylish winner on debut at Del Mar in the summer, and he concluded his brief juvenile campaign with a third-place finish in the Del Mar Futurity (G1). He closed swiftly to conquer allowance foes at Santa Anita Park in his three-year-old bow, which preceded his biggest win to date.
Roadster was bred in Kentucky by Stone Farm, and he was purchased by his current owners for $525,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
The Kentucky Derby (G1) contender is by 2009 Florida Derby (G1) hero Quality Road, who has sired at least 34 stakes winners to date. The rising stud is responsible for champions City of Light and Caledonia Road, as well as three-time Grade 1 heroine Bellafina, the current favorite for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 3.
Roadster’s first dam is the Silver Ghost mare Ghost Dancing, who capped a successful career with a victory in the Oakley Stakes at Colonial Downs. The speedy gray won five times with a pair of runner-up efforts from nine lifetime performances.
Ghost Dancing has also been productive at her new craft. Her first offspring resulted in the Grade 3-placed Moro Tap, and her third foal, Ascend, captured the 2017 Manhattan Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park. She has also produced an unnamed yearling colt by Candy Ride.
Silver Ghost has been solid and versatile as a broodmare sire. While he was a sprinter during his career and many of his top progeny have been one-turn types, the son of Mr. Prospector dons a fine catalog page. His dam, the Halo mare Misty Gallore, won five graded races while checking in second in the Beldame Stakes (G1) and Ruffian Handicap (G1). She is a half-sister to Irish champion Minstrella.
His daughters are responsible for at least 56 stakes winners, who have banked in excess of $47 million. 2000 Hopeful Stakes (G1) star Yonaguska; multiple graded stakes winner and sire Salute the Sarge; five-time Grade 3 victor Silverfoot; and 2015 Turf Classic Stakes (G1) winner Finnegans Wake are some of the top runners out of daughters of Silver Ghost.
Roadster has a lot of room for improvement with just four starts under his belt. The colt answered the nine-furlong question correctly in the Santa Anita Derby while appearing to have more left in the tank at the finish.
I don’t envision that his pedigree will hold him back from enduring 1 1/14 miles at Churchill Downs on May 4. And being under the care of Kentucky Derby savant Bob Baffert will undoubtedly aid his chances to peak on the big day. Roadster is an obvious Triple Crown contender to me.
© BENOIT PHOTO: Roadster (outside) and jockey Mike Smith overpower Game Winner (inside) under Joel Rosario to win the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 6, 2019, at Santa Anita Park