Roadster last year at Churchill Downs

Roadster last year at Churchill Downs

Coady Photography

Roadster, Flagstaff Meet Again in San Carlos Stakes

San Carlos (G2) also features last year's winner, St. Joe Bay.

After putting on the best show in a non-Breeders' Cup race during the weekend of the World Championships last fall, Flagstaff and Roadster will meet again March 7 in the $200,000 San Carlos Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park.

In the fall, Flagstaff edged Roadster—last year's Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner—by a nose in the Damascus Stakes, which was contested at the San Carlos distance of seven furlongs. In that Nov. 2 test at Santa Anita, Flagstaff and Roadster battled head and head through the stretch.

Since that effort, Lane's End Racing and Hronis Racing's Flagstaff has made his 6-year-old debut, a close second-place finish to Captain Scotty in the Jan. 25 Palos Verdes Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita. The son of Speightstown  finished a neck behind the winner in that six-furlong test, and trainer John Sadler was pleased with the effort. In fact, Flagstaff earned a career-best Equibase Speed Figure of 116 under jockey Victor Espinoza.

"Victor thought he felt like he let that horse kind of have an easy lead," Sadler said after Captain Scotty enjoyed a clear lead into the stretch of the Palos Verdes, which had just four runners. "Sometimes when you get in a small field, (that happens). He didn't lose anything in our eyes getting beat. That was a race we felt might have been ours with a little different strategy."

Speedway Stable's Roadster has been busy for trainer Bob Baffert. The 4-year-old son of Quality Road 's last two starts of 2019 were a fourth-place finish in the Native Diver Stakes (G3) and a runner-up finish to Omaha Beach  in the Malibu Stakes (G1). He will look to bounce back from a disappointing season opener: a seventh in the San Pasqual Stakes (G2) as the 9-5 favorite.

Mike Smith—aboard for Roadster's first three wins, including the Santa Anita Derby—will ride Saturday.

Video: Damascus S. (BT)

Both Sadler and Baffert entered additional runners in the expected field of six. Sadler also will saddle St. Joe Bay, who will make his first start since winning last year's San Carlos. In that race, St. Joe Bay cruised to a frontrunning three-length victory at 15-1 odds, leading by at least two lengths at every point of call.

St. Joe Bay worked four times from Feb. 8-March 1, including a five-furlong move in :59 3/5 Feb. 23 at Santa Anita, earning the bullet while working handily.

Baffert has entered an early runner of his own in McKale, who enters off a frontrunning allowance-level win Jan. 10. The San Carlos will be the second stakes start for the 5-year-old son of Congrats .

Rounding out the field will be Law Abidin Citizen, making his season debut after winning last year's Longacres Mile Handicap (G3) at Emerald Downs, and Manhattan Up, who rallied to win a Feb. 8 allowance-level race at Santa Anita.

Entries: San Carlos S. (G2)

Santa Anita Park, Saturday, March 07, 2020, Race 4

  • Grade II
  • 7f
  • Dirt
  • $200,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 1:00 PM (local)
11Manhattan Up (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateTiago Josue Pereira121Philip A. Oviedo6/1
22Flagstaff (KY)Victor Espinoza121John W. Sadler8/5
33Roadster (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMike E. Smith123Bob Baffert5/2
44St. Joe Bay (FL)Flavien Prat123John W. Sadler4/1
55Law Abidin Citizen (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateAbel Cedillo123Mark Glatt8/1
66McKale (MD)Keeneland Sales GraduateDrayden Van Dyke121Bob Baffert5/1