Bob Hope Stakes (Del Mar) Predictions, Odds & Picks

Ben Hope Stakes 2020

If you're playing only to win, go with my top value pick Red Flag (6/1)

Post Position and Odds – Bob Hope Stakes

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2020 Bob Hope Stakes at Del Mar!

PPHorseOddsJockeyTrainer
1AMBIVALENT8/1
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M GutierrezD O’Neill
2SPIELBERG7/5
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A CedilloB Baffert
3WESTON2/1
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D Van DykeR Hanson
4COASTAL KID10/1
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T BazeJ Metz
5RED FLAG6/1
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V EspinozaJ Shirreffs
6UNCLE BOOGIE6/1
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F PratA Lerner

Best Bets for the Bob Hope Stakes

Here are my plays ($60 in total)

$20 Exacta Box –  Red Flag and Spielberg = $40

$10 Exacta box –  Red Flag and Weston = $20

Top Value Pick:

Red Flag (6/1)

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Trainer Bob Baffert looks to continue his domination in the Bob Hope Stakes when he sends out the likely favorite Spielberg in a field of six on Sunday. The Hall of Fame trainer will be looking for his 11th victory in the Grade 3 race run over Del Mar’s main track at 7 furlongs.

Spielberg has only won once in four starts, but the $1 million yearling purchase has shown signs of becoming a graded stakes winner. He finished second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity and third in the Grade 1 American Pharoah while still a maiden. He finally earned his first win last time going one mile at Del Mar.

Chief among his competition will be a familiar foe in Weston. The only stakes winner in the field finished one place behind Spielberg in the Del Mar Futurity in his most recent start. Before that the son of Hit It a Bomb had won his first two starts, including a determined victory in the Grade 2 Best Pal.

Two others who should garner a fair amount of support are recent maiden winners Uncle Boogie and Red Flag. The former is a son of Ride On Curlin, who has run two good sprints to start his career, although the win and runner-up finish came against cheaper. While the latter came from well back while running wide to break his maiden on the Santa Anita turf in his second career start for trainer John Shirreffs.

How to Watch the Bob Hope Stakes

Bob Hope Stakes Race Information
WhatBob Hope Stakes (Grade 3)
WhereDel Mar
WhenSunday, November 15 — 7:00 PM Pacific time
How to WatchTVG
Purse$100,000

Race Analysis

Spielberg

Fresh off a successful Breeders’ Cup, Baffert looks to flex his muscles in a division he is always strong in and a race he has absolutely dominated in recent years. In Spielberg, he has a very expensive colt who has not yet lived up to his price tag but has not embarrassed himself either. Coming off a hard-fought win over the track in maiden company last time, he jumps right back into stakes competition. Previously, he turned in solid performances in important races, including a runner-up result in the Del Mar Futurity on the same trip as Saturday’s feature. The son of Union Rags has good tactical speed and only looks to improve with experience. He is clearly the one to beat, but he has already burned some money in his brief career.

Weston

He saw his undefeated record suffer its first blemish when he finished behind Dr. Schivel and Spielberg last time in the Del Mar Futurity. In that race, he pressured Spielberg, but could not get by, before fading a bit late. He won’t have to deal with the presence of Dr. Schivel on his outside again, but still, the question remains whether he can defeat the favorite this time around. Having said that, it’s hard to fault his record to this point, having run three solid races in as many tries, with the last two coming at Del Mar.

Uncle Boogie

He looks to have the speed to contend with the top two early, coming out of a pair of 5 ½ furlong sprints with fast fractions. He ran well in both, but the first one came in maiden claiming company at Santa Anita, and in the second, he only proved second best late in an optional claimer at Del Mar. Unless he takes a strong step forward in his third career start, I believe he is going to have a hard time beating off Spielberg and Weston in this one.

Red Flag

It’s a good bet that this son of Tamarkuz will be sixth and last in the early stages of this race, having shown little speed in his first two efforts. Still, the $220,000 yearling purchase displayed some talent after slow starts in both. He improved off his fifth-place debut nicely to win on the grass last time after running wide and displaying a strong closing kick. The added distance of the 7 furlongs Bob Hope should be right up his alley, and he should have some good early pace to run at. I like his chances to take another step forward on Sunday and make his presence felt down the stretch.

Ambivalent

The most experienced horse in the race, this Doug O’Neill trainee comes in off an unsuccessful trip east, where he faded badly behind Jackie’s Warrior in the Grade 1 Champagne. Before that, he had run four solid races in California without winning, including a pair of efforts finishing behind Weston. He’s proven to have the ability to contend in this class, but the maiden is likely to stay one on Sunday.

Coastal Kid

After an impressive maiden breaking performance, this was stretched right out to face stakes competition going 8 ½ furlongs. He made a move to the lead in that one before losing an iron down the stretch. Of course, the problem is both of those races came up in Washington at Emerald Downs. It looks like he has some talent, but will get a stern test for the class as he takes his game to the big leagues.

Bet on Red Flag (6/1)

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: brian.zipse@wsn.com