Santa Anita Derby 2019 Results: Roadster Storms to Comeback Win on Backstretch

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 7, 2019

Samples and measurements are taken on the sand track at Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia, California on March 7, 2019, where races have been suspended indefinitely and inspections launched in response to a recent spate of horse deaths, twenty one in total since December 26, 2018. - A winter of rain in the area has led to an increase of water on the tracks, and additional testing of the track is needed to ensure  consistency and uniformity for both training and racing, according to Santa Anita officials. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Roadster stormed back to defeat race favorite Game Winner and pace-setter Instagrand to win the $1 million, Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, on Saturday:

Roadster fell back to fifth for most of the race but made a late and ultimately successful push on the backstretch to give him his third career victory.

Here's a look at the order of finish, payouts, pre-race odds (via the NBC Sports broadcast), a Kentucky Derby qualifying points breakdown and some quick notes.


Order of Finish

1. Roadster (Post Position: 1; 3-1 Pre-Race Odds)

Jockey: Mike E. Smith

Owners: Speedway Stable LLC

Trainer: Bob Baffert

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2. Game Winner (Post Position: 6; 1/2 Pre-Race Odds)

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Owners: West, Gary and Mary

Trainer: Bob Baffert


3. Instagrand (Post Position: 5; 3-1 Pre-Race Odds)

Jockey: Flavien Prat

Owners: OXO Equine LLC

Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer


4. Nolo Contesto (Post Position: 3; 16-1 Pre-Race Odds)

Jockey: Joseph Talamo

Owners: Hronis Racing LLC

Trainer: John W. Sadler


5. Synthesis (Post Position: 4; 60-1 Pre-Race Odds)

Jockey: Rafael Bejarano

Owners: Decker Racing, Kretz Racing LLC and Selby, Jay

Trainer: George Papaprodromou


6. More Ice (Post Position: 2; 60-1 Pre-Race Odds)

Jockey: Geovanni Franco

Owners: Hollendorfer LLC, Kenwood Racing LLC and Robertson, Richard

Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer



Roadster: Win ($8.20), Place ($3.00), Show ($2.40)

Game Winner: Place ($2.40), Show ($2.10)

Instagrand: Show ($2.60)

Exacta (1-6): $7.00

Trifecta (1-6-5): $5.90

Superfecta (1-6-5-3): $2.24


Kentucky Derby Qualifying Points

Roadster: 100

Game Winner: 40

Instagrand: 20

Nolo Contesto: 10



Game Winner was a favorite against the entire field entering Saturday and for good reason: The Bob Baffert-trained horse won all four of his races as a two-year-old and finished second in his lone three-year-old race (the Rebel Stakes) by a nose.

TimeformUS linemaker and analyst David Aragona called the race Game Winner's to lose.

For good measure, Game Winner also entered Saturday as the clear Kentucky Derby favorite at 3-1, per US Racing.

J. Keeler Johnson, who contributes to Blood-Horse, America's Best Racing and BetAmerica, listed Game Winner as No. 1 on a Kentucky Derby top-10 list, with Roadster right behind:

Game Winner faced strong challengers in Roadster, Instagrand and Nolo Contesto. Roadster, who is also trained by Baffert, had won two of his three races. The same record goes for Instagrand, while Nolo Contesto finished first in one of his three.

One of Roadster's victories and Nolo Contesto's only victory came at Santa Anita. Game Winner also won at the American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita.

One of those challengers eventually upended the favorite, but Baffert was the winner either way.

This was his day at the dirt track, which runs 1⅛ miles. Not only did the Triple Crown-winning trainer earn his record ninth Santa Anita Derby victory, but he also trained the top two horses in the race. It's possible Roadster and Game Winner will end up being the top horses on the Kentucky Derby odds ledger as well.

The Santa Anita winner doesn't necessarily foreshadow the Kentucky Derby victor, but three of the last seven horses who have won in Arcadia have also taken the first Triple Crown race.

They include Justify, who won the 2018 Triple Crown, and California Chrome, who also won the Preakness Stakes.

The Santa Anita Derby, which is one of the final Kentucky Derby prep races on the schedule, awards 100 qualifying points to the winner. Roadster had zero before Saturday, but he'll certainly be in the field after this victory.

Three more prep races will take place before the Kentucky Derby, with the Arkansas Derby the only race with 100 points available to the winner. That race will occur on Saturday at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Omaha Beach, which defeated Game Winner in the latter horse's only non-first place finish before Saturday, will take part.

The Kentucky Derby will take place on Saturday, May 4, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.


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