11/09/2017 1:30PM

Run Away stays in his comfort zone in Bob Hope Stakes

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Run Away trains at Santa Anita on Oct. 21.

DEL MAR, Calif. – There was no case of Breeders’ Cup fever for Run Away’s connections, who decided to pass on last week’s Juvenile with one of the most-accomplished 2-year-olds in Southern California because they believe their horse’s best chance is around one turn.

Run Away has won four times in five starts, all in sprints, and will try to run his record to 5 for 6 when he heads the Grade 3, $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes going seven furlongs Saturday at Del Mar.

“We’re pretty sure this is what he wants to do,” Simon Callaghan, who trains Run Away for owner Kaleem Shah, said Thursday morning. “We might change our mind – if he runs a big race and finishes well going seven furlongs we try a one-turn mile – but we’re pretty sure this is what he wants, which is why we didn’t go in the Breeders’ Cup.”

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Run Away’s lone loss was in his only try at seven furlongs, in the Del Mar Futurity, where he finished 5 1/2 lengths behind the victorious Bolt d’Oro. He’s unbeaten at shorter distances. But he showed in his last start – a victory in the Barretts Juvenile at Los Alamitos – that he’s capable of rallying from farther off the pace, instead of having to mix it up from the get-go.

“That wasn’t the plan going in, but it’s nice that he was able to do it,” Callaghan said. “He got some dirt in his face and backed out of it, but then he ran on well. He was tough to gut it out. It gives us confidence going in that he doesn’t need the lead.”

Five others entered the Bob Hope, including Beautiful Shot, Mourinho, and Here Is Happy, the first three finishers in the six-furlong Speakeasy at Santa Anita on Oct. 15.

The Bob Hope goes as race 5 on a nine-race card that begins at 12:30 p.m. Pacific.

KEY CONTENDERS

Run Away, by Run Away and Hide
Last 3 Beyers: 74-74-75

◗ He’s the most experienced horse in the race.

◗ Flavien Prat has ridden him in all his starts and is back aboard.

Beautiful Shot, by Trappe Shot
Beyers: 73-63

◗ He is unbeaten in two starts, having won his debut at Del Mar before taking the Speakeasy, using an off-the-pace style to tally both times.

“He might be a little more aggressive now that he has two races under his belt,” said his trainer, Keith Desormeaux. “I think he understands the game and that makes him more dangerous.”

Mourinho, by Super Saver
Career Beyers: 70-86

◗ His debut win produced the fastest Beyer Speed Figure anyone in this field has run, but he failed to hold off Beautiful Shot in the Speakeasy after setting a blistering early pace.

◗ He wore blinkers in his first two starts, but they come off for this race.

◗ Drayden Van Dyke, who rode him first time out, climbs back aboard, replacing Martin Garcia.

– additional reporting by Steve Andersen