Baffert Eyes Eleventh Bob Hope Stakes
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
Trainer Bob Baffert has already won the $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes (G3) a whopping ten times. Previously known as the Hollywood Prevue Stakes, the race for juveniles has produced such horses as the great Shared Belief, Pegasus World Cup (G1) winner Mucho Gusto, and the 2004 Eclipse Champion Two Year Old in Declan’s Moon.
The race has since moved to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club from the now defunct Hollywood Park, and is run over seven furlongs on the main track. Baffert has a shot once again with Spielberg, the flashy $1 million purchase by Union Rags.
Favored in three of his four lifetime starts, Spielberg has only won once but has never been worse than third. Under Abel Cedillo, who will pilot again in this race, he was able to break his maiden last out after being Grade 1 placed twice already, including over this trip.
Drawn directly alongside is Weston, the who won the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes here for trainer Ryan Hanson. The son of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Hit It a Bomb ran third in the Del Mar Futurity, beaten by Spielberg, before going to the sidelines and missing the next two Grade 1 chances. He will be dangerous in this spot over a track he’s already won on under Drayden Van Dyke.
Trainer John Shirreffs will switch turf winner Red Flag back to the main track. Fifth here in his debut in September, Red Flag won sprinting at Santa Anita on October 10 under Victor Espinoza, who is aboard once again. The son of Tamarkuz broke slowly and went six wide before winning last out, flashing some talent that has been missing in his debut.
Ambivalent takes the blinkers off and draws the rail. The son of Constitution was third in the Best Pal but was disqualified and placed sixth, then ran third in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf. He is stakes placed without ever winning a race, and comes into this as a maiden for trainer Doug O’Neill.
Coastal Kid and Uncle Boogie round out the field. Coastal Kid puts blinkers on for trainer Jeff Metz; the son of Coast Guard was a maiden winner at Emerald Downs first out then ran third in the prestigious Gottstein Futurity. Uncle Boogie is an Andrew Lerner trainee by Ride On Curlin, and broke his maiden first out by 6 ¼ lengths at the $32,000 level.
Watch TVG daily for continued coverage of the 2020 Del Mar fall meeting.
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