A whopping $6 million was at stake in the race, a year-end showcase held in 2018 at the home of the Kentucky Derby. Soon after Stormy Liberal out-dueled favorite World of Trouble to retake the $1 million Turf Sprint by a neck, 6-year-old Roy H swept past Promises Fulfilled and flew to a 3 1/4-length win in the $2 million Sprint.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, the man behind Triple Crown winners American Pharoah and Justify, is targeting a fourth Classic win in five years.
"It was obviously a point of irritation for me", Sadler said.
"He really jumped well and gathered his stride very quickly".
Game victor found himself chasing 40-1 long shot Knicks Go as the field turned onto the long Churchill Downs stretch and that one proved tough to reel in.
It was not a pretty victory as the chestnut colt, ridden by jockey Joel Rosario, did not break well from the gate and bumped into Knicks Go while making his move from the outside down the stretch. Game victor, a Candy Ride colt owned by Gary and Mary West, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:43.67.
"So far so good", Brown said. Frankie was determined to stay wide for the better ground, but Hunting Horn was attending us all the way and then Ryan Moore slipped up our inner on Magical. "There's nothing like a 2-year-old when you're thinking about the spring classics and all".
Game Winner's first three victories came in Southern California. To win the Santa Anita Handicap (in March) was for me probably one or two on my bucket list.
The two biggest prior victories of Midlantic-based trainer John Servis's career had come at Churchill Downs, and now it's the three biggest after Cash Is King and D J Stable's Jaywalk (Cross Traffic) went right to the front and never looked back en route to a dominant 5 1/2-length tally in the GI Tito's Handmade Vodka Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Restless Rider edged Vibrance for third. The favorite, Bellafina, raced right behind the victor into the stretch but ran out of gas and was all out to finish fourth.
Speaking of Enable's light season, Godson added: "To be honest I would have preferred to bring her here after last year's campaign, which was absolutely smooth, yes she won five Group 1s but I would have liked to have come here a little bit on the crest of the wave". The bay daughter of Lope de Vega, who captured the Grade 2 Miss Grillo at Belmont on September 30, was first out of the gate and first home in the one-mile turf event, stopping the clock in 1:39 flat over a yielding turf.
"At one time, a mile and a quarter wasn't really considered his best distance, and he needed to have a certain trip in the race, but he's overcome all that and is actually better at a mile and a quarter now, and the trip isn't as important".
Jockey Joel Rosario said winning the 14-horse race, which featured a deep and talented field, was anything but easy. "She looks like she could do it again". "It is the first time she has run over this sort of track".