Thousand Words “earns his way to the Derby” with upset in Del Mar’s Shared Belief Stakes

August 2, 2020

DEL MAR, Calif. — Albaugh Family Stables and Spendthrift Farm’s Thousand Words made every pole a winner Saturday at Del Mar in upsetting the $100,000 Shared Belief Stakes by three-quarters of a length. In the process, he may have bought himself a ticket to the 2020 running of the Kentucky Derby.

The Pioneerof the Nile colt, ridden by Abel Cedillo and trained by Bob Baffert, took the lead right out of the gate and held off all challenges, including one from the 1-5 favorite Honor A.P. under Mike Smith. The mile and one-sixteenth feature went with only four runners when two of its 3-year-olds — Uncle Chuck and Anneau d’Or — were scratched Saturday morning.

“He (trainer Bob Baffert) just told me to warm him up real well, then get him out of there. Then see what happens,” jockey Cedillo recounted.

“He broke well and I saw I could take the lead, so I did. He was going along there steady, steady, steady. Then we got it done.”

The stakes win is the third of the meet for rider Cedillo, but his first in the Shared Belief. He now has five stakes wins at Del Mar.

With the victory, Thousand Words earned 50 Kentucky Derby points and made himself eligible to start in the Run for the Roses on September 5, if his connections so choose. He’s currently in the top dozen for the mile and a quarter. Honor A.P. earned 20 points and now has 140 points, third best on the list. As many as 20 horses can start in the Kentucky Derby.

“I told Abel (Cedillo) to jump him out of there and I thought he and Cezanne would be 1-2. Turning for home I could tell that Honor A.P. wasn’t running like he usually does,” Trainer Baffert explained.

“Cezanne got really tired, but Thousand Words … I could tell when we got down here that he was a different horse from Los Alamitos and the real Thousand Words showed up today. His whole mind changed. His color has changed. He had soured out on me, but we got him going the right way. I think he earned his way to the Derby.” 

Trainer Baffert earned his second stakes win of the meet and his eighth in the Shared Belief. He now has 135 stakes wins at Del Mar, far and away the most by any trainer.

John Sondereker’s Kiss Today Goodbye finished third and Magnier, Tabor or Smith, et al’s Cezanne, also trained by Baffert, was fourth and last.

Thousand Words covered the distance in 1:43.85 and returned $20.40 and $3.40. Honor A.P. returned $2.10 to place. There was no show betting.

Thousand Words earned $60,000 for his tally and pushed his bankroll to $327,000, after winning his fourth race in his seventh start.

2020 Shared Belief Replay

Racing resumes Sunday with 11 races on the card including Race 3, the Graduation Stakes for Golden State Series Eligible California Bred Or California Sired Two-Year-Olds; and, Race 10, the $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes G1 for fillies and mares. First post is 2:00 p.m. PT.

Del Mar Entries for Sunday, August 2

Edited Press Release

Photo: Baffert trainee Thousand Words, right, under Abel Cedillo surpassing stablemate Cezanne with Flavien Prat aboard. Credit: Benoit Photos

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