Spielberg is the One to Beat in the Bob Hope

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Rich Bieglmeier is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Sunday, November 15, 2020

Leslie Towns Hope doesn't have the same Hollywood ring to it as Bob Hope. Born in England as Leslie, Bob made his mark in Tinseltown. His acting career lasted close to 80-years and he is also well-known for entertaining the military with 57 USO Tours. Del Mar honors many of Hollywood's legends from the "Golden Era" and a today a good field of eight will run 7 furlongs in Leslie Towns "Bob" Hope's name.

Here is how we see race 8, the $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes at the wire.

The field of six, two-year-olds is headlined by morning line favorite SPIELBERG (PP: 2 ML 6/5). Bob Baffert's trainee is coming its maiden win in the fourth try. A horse getting the first win in try number four isn't normally noteworthy. However, SPIELBERG ran third as the favorite in the GI American Pharoah Stakes and finished second in the GI Del Mar Futurity in the race before that. It's back to the Graded level today as the favorite following the top, last race speed figure for this crew.

WESTON (PP: 3 ML 3-1) ran third behind DR. SCHIVEL and SPIELBERG in the Del Mar Futurity and then headed to the sidelines. Since, the son of HIT IT A BOMB has been training well, putting three bullet works in his last five in the clocker's books.  He likes to press the pace and should on/near the lead with SPIELBERG all the way around the track. WESTON faded late the last time the two met. The time off and training should equal more staying power.

UNCLE BOOGIE (PP: 6 ML 5-1) has the sort of name that newcomers to the horse game play because "I just like the name." I like the name and his track game. He's probably not good enough to get past both SPIELBERG and WESTON, but you never know if he improves enough in third career start. He got off to a slow start in his two races and then tried to chase down the field. He did pass them all in his debut but finished second by a length as the favorite in his last. Owner Eric Homme upgrades to jockey Flavien Prat today to see if the horse can get off to a quicker start.

RED FLAG (PP: 5 ML 6-1) opened his career in a green race on Del Mar's main track. He basically walked out of the gate, spotted the leader 15 lengths at the first call, ran half-heartedly to the ½ mile marker before working his way past a couple for horses. Trainer John Shirreffs put him on grass in next and RED FLAG ran a much sharper race, winning as the odds-on favorite in his last. Now, RED FLAG goes back to dirt, can he bring the grass form with him?

AMBIVALENT (PP: 1 ML 7/2) will look to improve a lot from a horrible outing in his last, finishing sixth in a field of six by 25 lengths. To be fair, that was in the Grade I Champagne Stakes won by one of the early 2021 Kentucky Derby favorites, JACKIE'S WARRIOR. The last effort had the look of a tired horse. The Bob Hope will be his fifth race without some extra time in the barn and he's finished behind WESTON in two matchups.

COASTAL KID (PP: 4 ML 15-1) is coming from Emerald Downs where he faced much easier competition than he gets here. His lone workout at Del Mar was blah and he looks to be overmatched here.


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