Warrendale Graduate Red Flag Rolls in Bob Hope Stakes
RSS Feeds Monday, November 16, 2020

Jerome and Tina Moss' Red Flag rolled home by 7 1/4 lengths for his first stakes victory in the $100,500 Bob Hope Stakes (G3) Nov. 15 at Del Mar.

The 2-year-old Tamarkuz colt upset five rivals at 10-1 under jockey Victor Espinoza, who only needed hand urging to guide Red Flag to success in the homestretch.

Multiple grade 1-placed Spielberg, the 3-5 favorite, finished fourth.

The seven-furlong Bob Hope was the second consecutive win for Red Flag. The John Shirreffs trainee rallied to break his maiden by a neck second time out Oct. 10 when sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs on the Santa Anita Park turf. Espinoza was up for both wins.

"I didn't really expect that kind of performance," Shirreffs said. "I was hoping to get a placing. He broke his maiden from way off the pace, and he's been doing better and better in the mornings, but he's not a brilliant work horse. So this was a pleasant surprise. You always hope, but you never know. He's gone from 5 1/2 furlongs to seven, so it looks like he'll be able to go longer. It's special because Mr. and Mrs. Moss were here today and got to see him run." 

Transferred to dirt Sunday, Red Flag was fourth early as Weston set the pace from the inside with fractions of :22.73 and :45.34 through a half-mile. The four leading the field were close in contention as they raced side by side into the turn, with Spielberg in the two path and Coastal Kid one more path out. Red Flag was widest of the four while Ambivalent and Uncle Boogie trailed.

Coastal Kid stumbled in the turn and abruptly dropped back before racing on. Red Flag overtook the field and was already clear by the time he straightened out in front of the grandstand. Espinoza shook the reins, and the chestnut continued opening up all the way to the wire.

The final time on the fast track was 1:23.56.

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