DEL MAR, CA – Speedway Stable’s Roadster, winless in three starts since capturing the Santa Anita Derby (G1) last April, including a 16th place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1), will attempt to get back on the victory track Saturday versus five horses in the $100,000 Native Diver Stakes (G3) at Del Mar.
Following the Kentucky Derby, the Bob Baffert-trained son of Quality Road ran second in both the Affirmed (G3), in June, and then the Damascus earlier this month on the Breeders’ Cup undercard, beaten a nose by Flagstaff, as the 7-5 favorite in the seven-furlong sprint. Drayden Van Dyke will be aboard the colt for the first time in the mile and one-eighth main track feature.
As a two-year-old, at Del Mar, Roadster broke his maiden first time out and then was third behind stablemate Game Winner as the 7-10 favorite in the Del Mar Futurity.
Opposing Roadster, the likely favorite, will be Leading Score, with Joe Talamo; Midcourt, Victor Espinoza; Zestful, Evin Roman; Extra Hope, Flavien Prat, and Two Thirty Five, Abel Cedillo.
Midcourt won the Comma to the Top Stakes in late October, his third consecutive win for trainer John Shirreffs. Two Thirty Five and Leading Score were second and third, respectively, behind Midcourt.
Extra Hope, conditioned by Richard Mandella, was third in the Damascus in his most recent effort, while Zestful was runner-up in the Marathon at a mile three-quarters after reeling off six straight victories. Mark Glatt trains Zestful who was claimed for $40,000 last summer.