A day-long series of upsets, including a surprise victory Saturday by 17-1 outsider No Problem in the featured $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes, has triggered a massive three-day carryover of $599,483 into Sunday’s Pick Six at Del Mar.
Post time for the first race Sunday will be 12:30 p.m. with the Pick Six programmed on the fourth through ninth races.
No Problem, ridden by Victor Espinoza, gamely fought off stretch-long challenges from even-money favored Alright Alright and 9-2 St. Joe Bay to score by a half-length in the seven-furlong sprint for two-year-olds.
No Problem, a son of Munnings owned by P & G Stables and trained by Mike McCarthy, accomplished the distance in 1:23.48 to notch his second triumph in three career outings. First money of $60,000 boosted the colt’s earnings to $81,250.
Alright Alright, game in defeat, finished a length in front of St. Joe Bay, with Sebastian’s Heart almost two lengths farther back in fourth in the field of eight juveniles.
No Problem returned $36.20, $11.20 and $5.80. Alright Alright paid $3.20 and $2.40, while St. Joe Bay returned $2.80 to show.
Saturday’s Pick Six races began with a victory by Son of War at $54 in the fourth and was followed in sequence by Memphis at $7 in the fifth, American Sun at $21.20 in the sixth and Play Hard to Get at $24.60 in the seventh prior to No Problem’s win in the eighth.
Saturday’s carryover after two days of no perfect tickets in the Pick Six was $147,102. “New” money bet Saturday was $846,793 for a total of $993,895 including the carryover. Entering Saturday’s ninth and final event, there were no “live” tickets in the Pick Six. The pattern of upsets continued in the ninth as Regally Soul won at $16.60.
It is estimated that as much as $3 million could be wagered Sunday in the Pick Six, adding to the carryover from Saturday of $599,483.
VICTOR ESPINOZA (No Problem, winner) -- "He surprised me, this horse. He's a fighter. He's just a little horse but he runs big. Mike (trainer Michael McCarthy) told me 'You know him; ride him like you need to.' The first time I rode him he was green. But the next time (Oct. 26, winning race), I put him in the race and rode him hard and he responded. Today he was more professional; he was calm on parade. When we got into the stretch he put his ears down and he fought. He didn't want to let them by."
DRAYDEN VAN DYKE (Alright Alright, second) -- "He was a little unsure of himself coming out of that chute. He didn't quite know what he wanted to do. And he didn't like the kickback hitting him in the face; he threw his head up. But then he settled and he ran good. It was a perfect trip after that."
ELVIS TRUJILLO (St. Joe Bay, third) -- "He ran OK. He was in there with them, then the last sixteenth of a mile he just went even."
MICHAEL McCARTHY (No Problem, winner) -- "Take nothing away from the little horse. He's very gritty, does everything right in the mornings, loves to train and loves his job. He persevered here going into the final turn, got bumped around a little bit, but was game enough to hold on."
FRACTIONS: :22.04 :44.67 1:10.35 1:23.48
This was the first running of the Bob Hope Stakes at Del Mar. Previously at Hollywood Park it was called the Hollywood Prevue and was presented 32 times under that name.
The stakes win was the first of the meet for Victor Espinoza and his 81st overall at Del Mar, which is eighth best all time.
The stakes win by Michael McCarthy was his first stakes win at Del Mar and his first graded stakes win. He had one previous winner at Del Mar this past summer.
The winning owners -- P & G Stables -- consists of Hernando Guitierrez and Nerina Morales of Southwest Ranches, FL.