Bet down as a heavy 1-9 favorite off his 10 1/2-length first-out romp Oct. 21 at Santa Anita Park, Nysos overwhelmed his four rivals in a tour de force to the wire. Without ever being asked by jockey Flavien Prat, the colt raced the seven furlongs in 1:21.71.
Trainer Bob Baffert thought the Bob Hope would be the perfect opportunity to teach the auspicious son of Nyquist to relax ahead of the lucrative 3-year-old prizes next spring and removed the blinkers for Sunday’s race.
Breaking sharply from the far outside post, Prat tucked the colt behind his rivals in last through a :22.34 first quarter. Running four wide down the backstretch, Nysos easily advanced on the pacesetters around the turn with the half-mile clocked in :44.97. The big bay drew even with race leader Stronghold at the quarter pole and kicked clear.
“(Nysos) was relaxed and switched off nice,” Prat said. “He jumped well and got into a great position and when I asked him to run he was there for me.”
Nysos opens up on the rest of the field en route to winning the Bob Hope Stakes at Del Mar
The rider never used his stick at any point in the race, hand-riding a full-of-run Nysos ($2.40) to the finish. He was 8 3/4 lengths ahead of Stronghold in second. Tejon Pass and Mission Beach completed the order of finish. Nysos’ stablemate, Wine Me Up , runner-up in the American Pharoah Stakes (G1), was scratched.
“When he came out of the gate he was on he could’ve gone to the lead or whatever but he did what he was supposed to do and he did it the right way and finished,” Baffert said. “That was pretty impressive.”
Baoma Corp.’s Charles Chu congratulates jockey Flavien Prat after Nyson won the Bob Hope Stakes at Del Mar
Nysos was purchased by his owners, Charles and Su Chu of Baoma for $550,000 earlier this year at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company Spring Sale of 2-year-olds in training after the colt zipped an eighth of a mile in :9 4/5 at the under tack show. The colt had previously passed through the ring twice before, selling for $130,000 as a weanling to Cypress Creek Equine at the 2021 Keeneland November Sale and again for $150,000 to Best A Luck Farm at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearling Sale.
The connections of Nysos in the trophy presentation for the Bob Hope Stakes
Bred by Atkins Susie, Nysos is the fourth winner from five foals to race produced from the Bernardini mare Zetta Z. His half sister Attabe , by Distorted Humor , finished third in the Ruling Angel Stakes at Woodbine in May.