In an extremely gutty performance, Toews On Ice rallied to capture the $100 Bob Hope S. (G3) Saturday for the third straight stakes win for the 2-year-old colt.
This was trainer Bob Baffert’s first win in the Bob Hope S., which was inaugurated in 2014 to replace the Hollywood Prevue (G3). Baffert won six editions of the Prevue.
Toews On Ice, breaking from post 4 in the seven furlong contest, avoided some trouble to his inside at the break as Martin Garcia sent the dark bay to the front. He was hotly pursued by Mac Daddy Mac to his outside. After a half-mile in :45.85, Mac Daddy Mac went to the lead coming into the stretch. Toews On Ice was far from finished, and fought back, regained the lead with less than a furlong to run, then pulled away late to win by 1 ¼-lengths in 1:22.27.
“You're always worried when a horse gets headed like he did,” said Baffert’s assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes. “But it looked like Martin was just cruising and he responded when he had to. He'd been doing this thing where he would switch leads if you hit him aggressively, so Martin had to ride him with a little more finesse and the horse changed on his own. Martin did a good job. You want to see a horse come back like he did. It was gratifying."
Toews On Ice, who has also won the Barretts Juvenile S. and Speakeasy S. in his young career, is now 3-0-2 in five starts. He is owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman and has earned $175,200.