DEL MAR, Calif. — Thousand Words upset 1-5 favorite Honor A. P. by three-quarters of a length in the $100,000 Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar on Saturday, giving trainer Bob Baffert another candidate for next month’s Kentucky Derby.
Ridden by Abel Cedillo, Thousand Words ran 1 1/16 miles in 1 minute, 43.85 seconds and paid $20.40 and $3.40 at 9-1 odds. The colt earned 50 qualifying points for the Derby, which was postponed until Labor Day weekend because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Baffert said Thousand Words has perked up since coming from Los Angeles to the seaside track north of San Diego.
“The real Thousand Words showed up today,” the Hall of Fame trainer said. “His whole mind changed. His color has changed. He had soured out on me, but we got him going the right way. He earned his way to the Derby.”
Honor A. P. returned $2.10. Trainer John Shirreffs is pointing the colt toward the Derby, too.
Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith attributed A. P. Honor’s loss to not being able to exercise the colt in the mornings. Jockeys are banned from the stable area at Del Mar because of the pandemic.
“He’s just been going along there not doing much in the mornings. I need to be on him and get more out of him,” Smith said. “But that’s the way it is now. This distance is too short for him, too. Just not his day.”
Kiss Today Goodbye was third. Cezanne, another of Baffert’s entries, was fourth. There was no show wagering because of the small field.
Uncle Chuck, also trained by Baffert, and Anneau d’Or were withdrawn earlier in the day.
Thousand Words has four wins in seven career starts.