The first of the fall meet’s graded stakes races is set for Sunday when a six-pack of 2-year-olds go to the post in the G3 Bob Hope. The seven furlong test is the first of nine graded stakes on tap for the remainder of the Bing Crosby meet.
Three of the colts expected in the Bob Hope hail from the Bob Baffert barn, including Havnameltdown, winner of the G3 Best Pal during the summer meet at Del Mar. The hard-knocking son of Uncaptured broke his maiden earlier in the summer meet, came back three weeks later in the Best Pal and then, nearly a month later, suffered his first career defeat at the hands of stablemate Cave Rock in the G1 Del Mar Futurity.
“He likes that track (Del Mar),” Baffert says. “He’s doing well, he’s been working well and I think that’s his distance.”
The same could be said for Newgate, another Baffert trainee. The son of Into Mischief was soundly beaten in his last two races but not without an excuse. He was running against the top two juveniles in the country. Newgate ran-up against Cave Rock in the Del Mar Futurity and ran fourth. He then faced Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Forte in the G1 Breeders Futurity at Keeneland and finished a distant fifth.
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“He always looks like he’s going to run a big race and gets beat,” Baffert says, “but I think seven-eighths is his distance, he might want the one turn, too.”
Baffert has also entered Hard to Figure, a son of Hard Spun who won the six furlong Capote at Los Alamitos last out. It was the first win of his three race career.
“I don’t like his post, the one,” Baffert notes, “but he’s working well, too.”
Lloyds Logic ships in from Washington to take on the Baffert trio. The son of The Factor broke his maiden by 5 ¼ lengths in August at Emerald Downs and followed with a 7 ¼ length victory in the $70,000 Gottstein Futurity. He’s conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
The G3 Bob Hope, named after the legendary actor and comedian, is the eighth of nine races on the Sunday card. First post is at 12:30 p.m.
Here’s the field from the rail with the jockeys and morning line odds: Hard to Figure (Flavien Prat, 3-1); Havnameltdown (Juan Hernandez, 6/5); Lloyds Logic (Edwin Maldonado, 12-1); Mixto (Umberto Rispoli, 12-1); Practical Move (Drayden Van Dyke, 5-1), and Newgate (John Velazquez, 5/2).