Did the Bob Hope Stakes on November 16 provide us with a glimpse of a real Kentucky Derby contender? At this stage I think the answer is…a big maybe! Just to clarify, we are not riding the fence on this, we are just being real. The 2020 Kentucky Derby is a loooooong way from now when you consider the reality of getting a talented two-year old colt ready for the run of a lifetime in the spring of his three-year old year. But for those looking for an early Derby horse, the Bob Hope winner might be a good one to ride.

High Velocity picked up his second career win in as many starts in the seven furlong Hope and appears to have several things going for him. First of all, this son of Quality Road is trained by five-time Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert. With an ability to train up the front-running speedsters, the California based conditioner appears to have one of his prototype horses here as High Velocity took’em gate to wire. Heart and a willingness to compete also appears to be a characteristic as when challenged in the stretch by a talented Strong constitution, the Velocity increased as he pulled away late to win by a length and a quarter.

Baffert likes the horse and sees the potential here. Big Race Bob has to be given his just due in the talent-judging department, especially in younger horses. That means right now we say “Hope” when it comes to High Velocity. (photo by Benoit)