Bob Hope Stakes Predictions, Top Picks, Betting Odds (Del Mar)

Post Position and Odds – Bob Hope Stakes

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

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 MESSIER 8/5
BET NOW
F Prat B Baffert
2 KAMUI 3/1
BET NOW
A Cedillo B Baffert
3 WINNING MAP 2/1
BET NOW
M Smith B Baffert
4 ROCK N RYE 8/1
BET NOW
U Rispoli W Solis
5 FORBIDDEN KINGDOM 5/1
BET NOW
J J Hernandez R Mandella

Best Bets for the Bob Hope Stakes

Here are my plays ($50 in total)

$30 Win – Messier = $30

$10 Exacta box – Messier and Winning Map

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick Messier (8/5)

Fresh off a convincing victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with the undefeated Corniche, trainer Bob Baffert comes right back with a trio of promising juvenile colts, as Messier, Winning Map and Kamui headline a compact field of five set for Sunday’s Grade 3 Bob Hope Stakes at Del Mar.

Bred north of the border, Messier could be the one most ready for the 7-furlong test. A classically bred son of Empire Maker, he demonstrated great potential recently with a geared down, eye-catching maiden win at Santa Anita in his second career start.

Meanwhile, both Winning Map and Kamui also bring plenty of pedigree and potential to the table for the two-time Triple Crown-winning trainer. The former won at first asking at Santa Anita, while the latter was an impressive winner at Los Alamitos last time, after running a close second in his career debut.

The remainder of the small field is rounded out by the Forbidden Kingdom and Rock N Rye. The latter is a stakes winner, but the former looks to be the bigger threat, having won his only start on dirt nicely for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella.

Race Analysis

Messier

This Canadian-bred son of Empire Maker will take the blinkers off for his third-lifetime start. One of three trained by Bob Baffert in the race, he looked like a very good thing just three weeks ago while dominating fellow maidens by an easy 6 ½ lengths in a 6 furlong sprint at Santa Anita, which followed up a solid runner-up finish in his debut back in June. Leading California rider Flavien Prat will be back in the saddle after riding him last time. With the blinkers off and already having demonstrated the ability to pass horses, he should appreciate all the speed in here, while stretching out to 7 furlongs. He is the top pick.

Winning Map

Also trained by Baffert, this son of Liam’s Map is the least experienced horse in the field. He may have only run once, but it was a good one. The $525,000 2-year-old in training purchase won nicely in his October 3 debut at Santa Anita, winning the 6 furlong race by better than four lengths. The gray colt set the pace that afternoon and cruised home down the stretch. With plenty of speed in here, he may be better suited to sit just off it on Sunday, but either way, he looks like a very talented young horse and the biggest threat to the top pick.

Kamui

The third of the Baffert trio, he too comes off an impressive maiden-breaking performance in his last. Clearly, there is no shortage of young talent in the barn, as this one also has the potential to be a serious racehorse. A son of Quality Road, he was a little unlucky to get beat in his debut at Del Mar back in August. Hammered down to odds of 3/10 next out, he dominated a 6 horse field at Los Alamitos in September. Having shown plenty of speed in his first two starts, he should be involved early, and while I like his two stablemates a little better, he also has every right to win this.

Forbidden Kingdom

Trained by Richard Mandella, this son of American Pharoah looks to be the biggest threat to Baffert domination in the Bob Hope. In fact, he has already beaten one of the trio. That came at Del Mar, where he was able to hold off Kamui in their respective career debuts. Off that victory, he came back six weeks later in the Speakeasy Stakes on the Santa Anita turf. Bumped at the beginning, he still went right to the early lead in the 5-furlong grass race, but ultimately finished third. Now he stretches out to 7 furlongs here and faces more quality speed. I don’t expect him to beat all the Bafferts, but he does look like a colt with a future.

Rock N Rye

The only stakes winner in the field, this California-bred is also by far the most experienced. A Walther Solis-trained son of Stay Thirsty, he is 2-of-5 overall, having debuted on May 2. Like every horse in the field, he has been forwardly placed in all of his races. His two wins came in his second and third starts, having finished second in each of his last two. The last three were all stakes races, but restricted to statebreds, as all his races have been. Stepping into an open company looks to be a difficult spot, especially against the talent assembled here. I do not like his chances.

How to Watch the Bob Hope Stakes

Bob Hope Stakes Race Information
What Bob Hope Stakes (Grade 3)
Location Del Mar
Time Sunday, November 14 — 7:00 pm Eastern time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $100,000

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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.

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