It’s time to get over that Breeders’ Cup hangover. As always, it was a great weekend for all horses and especially the 2YOs, with a win by Good Magic in the Juvenile. Chad Brown is taking over all surfaces, classes, and levels. But racing keeps going year-round — that’s one thing that makes it great. Today, we’ve got a 2YO sprint — of the challenging 7-furlong variety from Del Mar at around 2:34 Pacific Time. It’s the Bob Hope Stakes, named for the classic comedian hailing from my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. A field of 6 will race for $100K. With the smallish field, let’s take a look at the whole field and see if we can find some value down the line. Importantly, it’s the 5th race on the card at Del Mar, completing what is always a nice P5 pool.
Here’s the rundown:
- Greyvitos (20-1): Still a maiden, he improved in his return to the races after a 4-month layoff. He’s still a bit slow and would have to enjoy the stretchout from 5.5f to 7f, something that’s not out of the question for this son of Malibu Moon. “Blinkers on” may add some early speed, although his trainer is 0 for 9 with this addition. A deserving longshot, he could end up in the place or show spot, but most likely to be up the track.
- Mourinho (9/5): Baffert has been giving Drayden Van Dyke some serious mounts and this is one of them. A $625K purchase this past March, he won on debut with an impressive speed figure. He tired in the stretch of the Speakeasy and failed at 1/5 odds. “Blinkers off” for, perhaps, the best trainer in the North America, who excels with young horses. He’s obviously a serious contender and he may be overlooked a bit because of the presence of Run Away in the gate next door.
- Run Away (8/5): The knock on him is that he’s a bit slower than Mourinho — perhaps dominating (he’s 4 for 5) the division when it was weaker. He obviously likes to win and that includes the G2 Best Pal. He was the favorite in the Del Mar Futurity and finished third to a strong Bolt D’Oro. But my gut says no today — he looks like a horse who has peaked.
- Here is Happy (8/1): Debuted in a maiden claimer, which he won at 32-1. And then two stakes tries, including a good third in the Speakeasy. He’d benefit from some good pace in front of him — which I’m not sure is going to be there. If you do, he may be worth including on some deeper tickets.
- Beautiful Shot (5/2): The winnner of the Speakeasy, who beat Mourinho. A solid contender — he’ll need pace that I’m not sure he’ll get. But, predicting pace is dangerous terrain — so you could include him for safety.
- Italiano: An inexperienced maiden winner, he did beat Greyvitos last time out. Likely too slow to be able to run with this group — at least at this stage is his career.
Give me Baffert. I’m singling Mourinho. The race sets up for him and he’s faster than Run Away.