Game Winner to face four in newly named American Pharoah Stakes

Mike Willman, for Santa Anita
September 26, 2018 06:59pm

Bob Baffert-trained Game Winner, who upset his highly regarded stablemate Roadster in winning the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity last out, heads a field of five juveniles going  1 1/16 miles in Saturday’s Grade 1, $300,000 American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita.

Originally run as the Norfolk and more recently contested as the FrontRunner Stakes, the American Pharoah is named for the Triple Crown winner who annexed this race in 2014. It offers both a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" trip to the Juvenile as well as points toward the 2019 Kentucky Derby.


Owner: Gary & Mary West
Trainer: Bob Baffert

A 5 ¾-length first out maiden winner going six furlongs on Aug. 18, this Kentucky-bred colt by Candy Ride rallied from off the pace to take the seven-furlong Del Mar Futurity by 1 ½ lengths over Jerry Hollendorfer’s Rowayton. Baffert’s Roadster, who was heavily favored, finished third, two lengths behind his stablemate. Dispatched at 8-5, Game Winner was ridden for the first time by Mario Gutierrez in the Futurity. However, he’ll be handled for the first time on Saturday by eastern-based Joel Rosario. Like all but one of his rivals, Game Winner will be trying two turns for the first time in what will be his third career start.


Owner: OXO Equine, LLC                                                         
Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer

An impressive 1 ¾ length first out maiden winner going five furlongs on July 21, this Into Mischief colt showed brilliant speed going seven furlongs in the Del Mar Futurity, but was run down in the final sixteenth of a mile by Game Winner when off at odds of 7-1. Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke in his first two starts, Rowayton will be guided Saturday by Florent Geroux. Like Game Winner, Rowayton will also be making his third career start.


Owner: West Point Thoroughbreds and Hollendorfer, LLC                                 
Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer

Although he was beaten some 10 ¼ lengths by Roadster in his six-furlong debut on July 29, this gray or roan colt by Exchange Rate relished a flat mile on Aug. 22 at Del Mar, winning by 6 ¾ lengths at odds of 5-1. Flavien Prat will climb aboard for the first time. Gunmetal Gray had been ridden in both of his previous starts by Van Dyke.  


Race 6 of 12. Approximate post time 2:30 p.m. PT. 

  1. Rowayton—Florent Geroux – 122
  2. Gunmetal Gray—Flavien Prat—122
  3. Jefe—Kent Desormeaux—122
  4. Game Winner—Joel Rosario – 122
  5. Sigalert—Tyler Baze—122 


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