With his gutsy performance on Saturday in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Game Winner solidified his grasp on 2-year-old colt of the year honors.
The undefeated son of Candy Ride started slowly, about six lengths off the lead and going wide around the clubhouse turn, preferring to let Complexity set the pace with Knicks Go stalking in second place.
As the pack reached the far turn, Game Winner inched up on the outside, and with some urging from his jockey Joel Rosario, took the lead away from Knicks Go. The two bumped in the homestretch, but no foul was called. Game Winner inched away from Knicks Go, who looked impressive and proved that his upset win in the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity was no fluke.
The margin of victory was two lengths.
Now with some time off, Game Winner must prove that 2018 was no fluke. He’ll face stiff competition from other horses in Bob Baffert’s arsenal – namely, Instagrand and Roadster. And Knicks Go may continue to mature.
Who knows? There may be another Justify lying in waiting, unraced as a 2-year-old but ready to take on the competition in 2019. But for now, Game Winner is undefeated in four starts and is the horse to beat for the 2019 Kentucky Derby.