At 30-1 on the morning line, Bobby G is the rank outsider in Friday's $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3), which is hardly surprising given he was claimed for $5,000 just three months ago and has never started in a stakes race. Indeed, the 5-year-old gelding's resume comprises five maiden races, four claiming races, four starter races and one allowance race, in which he was fifth.
But ever since trainer Jose Corrales haltered him back in February, the son of Awesome Again seems to have found a way to win, albeit in cheaper races such as starter handicaps and starter allowances. In his first start for Corrales, he scored by 5 ½ lengths and tripled his price to earn $16,520. His next paycheck was $13,650 for finishing second going 1 ¼ miles, and he then won twice more for an additional $27,930.
He could have continued along the same road, but Corrales and his new owners, Mohan Stable, had other ideas.
“What happens to me with horses is like what happens with people,” said Corrales, who turned former claimer Something Awesome into a multiple graded-stakes winning millionaire, and who in fact was the favorite for last year's Pimlico Special. “It's like people in the street. They deserve a chance, the opportunity to see if they are as good as anybody else. Maybe they are, maybe they're not, but they deserve a chance.”
Bobby G started his career off with such a chance. Purchased for $300,000 as a 2-year-old at the OBS in April, he broke his maiden at fifth asking going 1 1/8 miles at Santa Anita Park for trainer Doug O'Neill and owners Newport Stables and Sheep Pond Partners. Transferred to Graham Motion later in the year, he was fifth in an allowance in November, then came back 10 months later in his first start for a tag.
He made a few more starts for New York trainer Jeremiah Englehart, his price steadily dropping from $40,000 to $25,000 to $16,000 before landing in a 1 1/8-mile race at Laurel Park with a $5,000 tag.
Bobby G won by 13 ½ lengths and Corrales had himself a new project. Perhaps another Bodhisattva, who earned a shot to run in the 2015 Preakness, finishing eighth behind eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
“What got me into Bobby G is he has the breeding to run the distance,” said Corrales, noting the Special this year has been lengthened to 1 ¼ miles. “He's been consistent, does pretty well – he deserves a shot, and so do the owners.
“If he wins, everyone would be surprised but me,” he added. “If he does, I can tell you I'm a genius – but if it happens, it will be because of the horse.”
And the chance he got.
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