Published Sunday, November 19th, 2023   ( 6 months ago )

Nysos Much Best in Sunday's Bob Hope Stakes at Del Mar

Nysos | Benoit PhotoNysos © Benoit Photo

The 2-year-old colt Nysos followed up his romping debut victory by romping once again in Sunday’s $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes at Del Mar, getting home eight and three-quarter lengths the best in the seven-furlong headliner.

The son of Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist raced outside and under wraps by rider Flavien Prat through the first half mile, then took the lead turning for home and simply drew out through the lane. He finished the distance in a rapid 1:21.71 – just three-hundredths off the stakes record – with Prat never asking the bay for his best.

Nysos earned a first prize of $60,000 in the Grade III juvenile feature, increasing his bankroll to $96,600. He paid $2.40 to his backers as a stout 1/5 favorite.

The winner is trained by Bob Baffert, who supplemented him to the race at a cost of $1,000. Baffert now has won the Bob Hope seven times in its 10 editions at Del Mar.

Finishing second in the juvenile test was Eric and Sharon Waller’s Stronghold, who had three and a quarter lengths on Williamson Racing’s Tejon Pass.

There was a carryover of $94,601 in the track’s Pick Six bet Sunday, meaning the pool on the popular wager will probably approach the $500,000 range when it goes up for grabs on Thanksgiving Day.

First post Thursday will be at 11 a.m.

FLAVIEN PRAT (Nysos, winner) – “With this being his second time out you never know how they are going to react to it all but he was a real pro. He broke well and relaxed well and showed rein on the lane. He kind of took a breather (early on) but I didn’t want to get myself you know head and head with everybody else.”

BOB BAFFERT (Nysos, winner) – “He’s a real quiet colt. He was real quiet in the paddock but (jockey Flavien) Prat said once he got behind the gate he just turned it on. I took the blinkers off of him so he would relax. Last time he went out there (on the lead) and I didn’t want to see that again. He handled it like a pro and did everything right. It’s tough for a horse, after a big race to come back and do it again.”

FRACTIONS:  :22.34  :44.97  1:09.20  1:21.71

The stakes win was the second of the session for rider Prat and his second in the Bob Hope (Messier, 2021). He now has 92 stakes wins at Del Mar, ninth best all time at the track.

The stakes win was the second of the meet for trainer Baffert and his seventh in the Bob Hope. He now has a record 167 stakes wins at Del Mar, far and away the most ever.

The winning owner is the Baoma Corp of Charles and Susan Chu.