Heavily favored Mucho Gusto showed speed from the gate, repelled several challenges along the way and reported home a length and a half winner of the $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes for 2-year-olds Saturday at Del Mar.
The flashy chestnut colt by Mucho Macho Man, a $625,000 sale purchase who races out of the powerful barn of trainer Bob Baffert, had Joe Talamo up as he registered his second win in his second start. He's owned by Michael Lund Petersen of Reisterstown, MD.
The 4-5 favorite, Mucho Gusto paid $3.60, $3.00 and $2.10 across the board after covering the seven-furlong distance in 1:23.51.
Finishing second was Rockingham Ranch's Savagery ($6.20, $3.20) and third, a head back, was Del Secco DCS Racing's Sparky Ville ($2.20).
Mucho Gusto, a Kentucky-bred, picked up $60,000 for his Bob Hope tally and now sports a bankroll of $84,000. He is the first stakes winner for his sire, who won the Breeders' Cup Classic in 2013 and has his first crop at the races this year.
Cajun rider Talamo also clicked on a sharp 2-year-old for Baffert earlier on the card when he steered the gray Tapit colt Coliseum to a six and three-quarter length victory in the homebred Godolphin runner's racing debut.
The track's Pick Six wager was correctly selected by 21 ticket holders Saturday and they each earned $7,698. The Jackpot Pick Six carryover grew to $62,637.
Saturday's crowd at the seaside oval was 6,325.
JOE TALAMO (Mucho Gusto, winner) – “I've been very excited to ride this horse. And after this race, I'd say I'm really impressed with him. We got sandwiched coming away from there, but he went on about his business. He ran well throughout; he was well within himself, with his ears up. When a horse would come to him, he'd pick it back up again. He's trained well right from the start and he's showing his stuff in the afternoons.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO (Savagery, second) – “He broke well, but I saw the winner go right to the front, so I just sat off him. When it came time, I asked my horse and he gave it a good try. He's a good young horse and he's still learning. He'll be better for this.”
GARY STEVENS (Sparky Ville, third) – “He ran well. He got a bit too wound up in the post parade and that didn't help. But he ran a good race.”
BOB BAFFERT (Mucho Gusto, winner) – “I lost time when he got sick and this was a good race for him. He's a pretty cool horse; there's nothing flashy about him but he gets the job done. They went fast early but when they came to him, he rebroke like the good ones do. I was with my assistant and I said 'Here's when you find out what they're made of.' ”
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2019 Paulick Report.