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Messier gives Baffert record 11th Bob Hope S. (G3) win
Monday, November 15, 2021

Messier’s clear victory in Sunday’s $100,000 Bob Hope S. (G3) gave his trainer Bob Baffert his seventh win in the past 10 years, and 11th overall, in the seven-furlong race for 2-year-olds.

With three of the four juveniles in the starting gate, Baffert looked to have everything in his favor. But it was Forbidden Kingdom, from the Richard Mandella barn, that rocketed to the lead, with Winning Map his closest pursuer.

The duo scorched through a quarter-mile in :21.40, with Messier at the rear of the short field. The eventual winner made up ground around the turn to get within two lengths of the lead at the top of the stretch. The wickedly-fast half-mile of :43.23 began to take its toll, and Messier easily took command then drew off late to win by 3 ½-lengths in 1:22.74.

“Messier shipped down this morning. He didn't train here during the summer and had never been here,” said Baffert. “First time on a trailer, first time he'd seen Del Mar and he walked into the paddock like he owned it. The track is pretty glib so the fractions were fast. In the summer, 21 and [two] wouldn't hold up, but this time speed carries and they were rolling.”

Messier is owned by Goloconda Stable, Madaket Stables LLC, SF Racing LLX, Siena Farm LLC and Starlight Racing. The bay colt has won two of three starts and earned $105,600.

 


Baffert 2013