11/14/2015 8:00PM

Toews On Ice wins third straight stakes in Bob Hope

Benoit & Associates
Toews On Ice, with Martin Garcia in the saddle, takes the Bob Hope Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Toews On Ice had won his two prior starts in easy fashion, but when tested on Saturday in the Grade 3, $100,500 Bob Hope Stakes for 2-year-olds at Del Mar, he showed the grit and determination of his namesake, three-time Stanley Cup champ Jonathan Toews, and re-rallied for the victory, his third straight.

 No hats were thrown onto the track for this hat trick, but Toews On Ice might have at the least earned himself a shot at bigger and better opportunities down the line. A start in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity next month could be next.

 On Saturday, Toews On Ice ($3.80) dueled with Mac Daddy Mac for the first six furlongs of the seven-furlong race, and even lost the lead at mid-stretch, but he came back on to win by 1 1/4 lengths under Martin Garcia, who cleverly angled Toews On Ice right alongside Mac Daddy Mac in the stretch.

 “He started fighting,” Garcia said.

 “I got a little worried when he got headed,” said Jim Barnes, the top assistant to trainer Bob Baffert, “but he did respond.”

 Baffert was not at the race. He was being honored Saturday night in Tucson by his alma mater, the University of Arizona, at its football game against Utah.

 Mac Daddy Mac, making only the second start of his career, ran his heart out before settling for second, but was 3 1/4 lengths clear of third-place I’malreadythere. Dr. Dorr rallied for fourth after a bad start, then came, in order, Street Vision, Jury, and On Fire.

 Toews On Ice covered seven furlongs on the fast main track in 1:22.27. He has now won three times in five starts, all in stakes, at three different tracks. He won the Barretts Juvenile at Los Alamitos in September and the Speakeasy at Santa Anita in October.

 Toews On Ice is owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman, who purchased the colt by Archarcharch for $140,000 as a yearling at Keeneland in September 2014. He has now earned $175,200.