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Jockey Mike Smith celebrates aboard Mastery after winning the Bob Hope Stakes.
The feature race on the second Saturday of the Bing Crosby fall meeting at Del Mar is the $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes (formerly known as the Hollywood Prevue) for two-year-olds sprinting 7 furlongs on the main track. Conditions were excellent with cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid 60's. Mastery was sent off as the 3-10 favorite in the short field of five, off his debut win at Santa Anita on October 22 by 4 1/4 lengths. In to challenge him included 3-1 second choice California Diamond, winner of 3 straight, all in stakes including the Golden State Juvenile on the Breeders' Cup Saturday undercard, and 11-1 third choice Ann Arbor Eddie, a debut winner last out at Santa Anita on October 29.
Mastery leads in the stretch
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 3 Mastery Smith 2.60 2.10 2.10 5 California Diamond Arroyo Jr. 2.60 2.10 1 Ann Arbor Eddie Gutierrez 2.40 Winning Time: 1:23.32 $1 Exacta 3-5 1.90 $2 Quinella 3-5 2.60 $1 Trifecta 3-5-1 4.70
Left: Mastery in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Bob Baffert said, "We knew he was a nice horse when he broke his maiden, but from what we saw today he could be something. The second out is so important. They can run well in the first outing and then take a step back. We didn't have him super cranked for the first out and this one was a lot of him (talent). He just shipped down this morning and he shipped well. Now's he's got that experience. He didn't look exhausted afterwards but he didn't really have to exert himself."
Right: Mastery in the paddock before the race. Winning jockey Mike Smith said, "It went well after we got away from there. He was a little funny in the gate; had some of those second-race jiggers. But once we got rolling he was fine. He's got a beautiful stride -- big, long and powerful. He'll go two turns, too. These 7/8 races can be tougher than a two-turner. He handled this race fine. I think two turns will be fine, too."
Left: Second place finisher California Diamond in the paddock before the race. Jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. said, "He tried; he tried hard. All credit to both horses."
Right: Third place finisher Ann Arbor Eddie in the post parade. Jockey Mario Gutierrez said, "He gave it a good try."