Messier captures Grade III, $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes

Messier on his way to a win at the Grade III, $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes.
Messier on his way to a win at the Grade III, $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes.
(Kelley Carlson)

Messier drew away from Forbidden Kingdom to win the Grade III, $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes by 3 1/2 lengths on Nov. 14 at Del Mar. Winning Map completed the trifecta, another 1 3/4 lengths behind.

The time for the 7 furlongs on the dirt was 1:22.74.

It was the second stakes victory of the weekend for jockey Flavien Prat and trainer Bob Baffert, as they also teamed up to win the $100,000 Desi Arnaz Stakes on Nov. 13 with the 2-year-old filly Eda.

“Messier shipped down this morning (Nov. 14, from Santa Anita),” Baffert said. “He didn’t train here during the summer and had never been here. First time on a trailer, first time he’d seen Del Mar, and he walked into the paddock like he owned it. The track is pretty glib, so the fractions were fast. In the summer, 21 and four wouldn’t hold up (time for the first quarter-mile), but this time speed carries and they were rolling.”

The 2-year-old colt — a Canadian-bred named for star hockey player Mark Messier — is owned by SF Racing, Starlight Racing and Madaket Stables.

Racing resumes at the seaside oval on Nov. 19. A Beer & Fizz Fest will be held Nov. 20; the Grade III, $100,000 Native Diver Stakes will be the featured race on the card that day.