Messier records first stakes win in Del Mar’s Bob Hope S. (G3)
RSS Feeds Thursday, December 2, 2021

Eddie Woods training graduate Messier overpowered a compact field of rivals to win the $100,000 Bob Hope S. (G3) at Del Mar on Nov. 14.

Owned by SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Siena Farm, Golconda Stable, et al, Messier settled in fourth early in the seven-furlong event. Eased into the four path by jockey Flavien Prat around the far turn, Messier reeled in the pacesetters in upper stretch, took over at the eighth-pole, and drew away late to win in 1:22.74. The win, his first in a stakes race, increased Messier’s bankroll to $105,600.

“We were in a good spot,” said Prat. There was plenty of pace in the race and that was to our advantage. When I asked, he was there. I think this horse will be fine with running on.”

A royally-bred colt by Empire Maker, Messier, named for star hockey player Mark Messier, was a $470,000 yearling purchase. The Canadian-bred is out of the multiple stakes-winning Smart Strike mare Checkered Past and is trained by Bob Baffert.

“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.”