A compact field of six juveniles will go seven-eighths on the Del Mar dirt in Saturday’s $100,000 Bob Hope (G3). Three of the six in the field have endured positive results in graded stakes events this season, and I think it will come down to that trio inside the final furlong.

Bob Hope S. Wagers

  • $10 Win and Place: #1 Ambivalent ($20)
  • $5 Exacta Key Box: 1 with 2,3 ($20)
  • $10 Trifecta: 1 with 2 with 3 ($10)

Bob Hope S. Handicapping Analysis

I am seeking an upset with maiden #1 Ambivalent. Trained by Doug O’Neill, the battle-tested son of Constitution removes blinkers for his sixth outing of 2020, and I am expecting a big performance from the Kentucky-bred. The dark bay, who was purchased for $550,000 in the spring, was a close third in the Best Pal (G2) on the surface. And while he needs a step forward to upset this field, I love both recent morning moves and his prior tries at Del Mar.

#2 Spielberg graduated on the oval most recently, and the expensive colt rates as the one to beat for Baffert. The $1 million son of Union Rags has never run a bad race in his lifetime, which includes a runner-up finish in the Del Mar Futurity (G1) and a third-place result in the American Pharoah (G1) two prior, and the cut back in trip might aid the chestnut, as well. Abel Cedillo retains the mount on the solid 2-year-old prospect.

Best Pal (G2) victor #3 Weston will also thrive cutting back in distance on Sunday. The Ryan Hanson trainee tired late when third in the Del Mar Futurity (G1) in his latest outing, and the gelded son of Hit it a Bomb has trained in swift fashion in the interim. The bargain $7,000 purchase is an alert gate horse who will be in the mix from the start under the guidance of Drayden Van Dyke.