Run Away faces talented rivals in Bob Hope Stakes

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Alastair Bull

November 9th, 2017

With four victories and a grade one third-place finish behind Bolt d’Oro, Run Away is clearly the form horse going into the seven-furlong Bob Hope Stakes (G3) at Del Mar Nov. 11.

Whether he can concede between four and six pounds to his five promising rivals and still come out on top is another question.

A $325,000 purchase for Kaleem Shah at the Barretts March 2-year-old sale, Run Away (by Run Away and Hide) won his first three starts impressively, including the Santa Anita Juvenile Stakes and the Best Pal Stakes (G2). He started favorite in the seven-furlong Del Mar Futurity (G1), but couldn’t go with Bolt d’Oro and Zatter.

He was then a short-priced favorite in the Barretts Juvenile Stakes at Los Alamitos, and though he looked to be backtracking on the turn, he finished resolutely to poke his head in front near the line.

Run Away’s main rivals look to be the undefeated Beautiful Shot (Trappe Shot) and Mourinho (Super Saver).

The Bob Baffert-trained Mourinho (Super Saver), a $625,000 purchase at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s March 2-year-old sale, looked outstanding when coasting away in his debut. That effort meant he started 3-10 favorite in the Speakeasy Stakes at Santa Anita, and he looked like justifying those odds when moving clear at the top of the stretch.

However, he couldn’t resist the finishing burst of another maiden winner in Beautiful Shot, going down by a length and a quarter. Mourinho will be two pounds better off at the weights in the Bob Hope Stakes.

Third in that race was Here Is Happy, who closed well after being a long last early on. He will probably appreciate the increase in distance to seven furlongs.

The other two runners in the race are Italiano, a maiden winner at Santa Anita Oct. 21, and Greyvitos, who finished third to Italiano in that maiden.

Run Away was held out of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to concentrate on this race, and he should be better for it. He’s shown that he can run on the speed and close from off the pace, so it would be surprising if he doesn’t figure in some way.

However, his only defeat came at Saturday’s race distance of seven furlongs, and given his position in the weights, he could be vulnerable.

Mourinho clearly has talent, and will probably be better for the experience of defeat in the Speakeasy Stakes. However, Beautiful Shot’s effort to win that day took the eye, and he should be suited to seven furlongs better than his main opponents.

If there’s a fast tempo, it’s worth considering Here Is Happy for multiples.