Bob and John's apparent six-length victory as the 1-5 favorite in Saturday's $100,000 Real Quiet Stakes for 2-year-olds was overturned by Hollywood Park stewards, who gave the victory to Genre, ridden by Martin Pedroza.
The stewards found that Bob and John, who came in nearing mid-stretch of the 1 1/16-mile event before drawing away, cost the third-place finisher Kissin Knight and jockey Patrick Valenzuela a position and disqualified the Stonerside-owned son of Seeking the Gold
to third. The decision moved Genre, who was not involved in the review but finished a nose in front of Kissin Knight, into the winner's circle, one of five wins on the day for jockey Martin Pedroza.
The ruling didn't set well with Bob and John's connections – jockey Victor Espinoza and trainer Bob Baffert – who blamed Valenzuela for the entire incident.
"He rode (Bob and John) out the whole way," Baffert grumbled. "Dirty riding and we get DQ'd. It's a joke, unbelievable."
"You have to wonder if the stewards here can see what is going on," complained Espinoza. "This was just unbelievable. I really think they need new stewards here, especially after a ruling like that. That's how I feel, and I don't care what they think. This was just not right, not for the horse, not for the public. I could have won by 20 lengths, by the whole half of the stretch if I wanted.
"Hey, I was in the middle of the racetrack, and (Valenzuela) was the one who put his horse right on top of my heels," the jockey added. "It's a shame."
Pedroza said he was surprised by the change in order as well. "Here I was riding hard for second. I really thought the other horse (Kissin Knight) might have beaten me by a nose or something because my horse never changed leads turning for home. Then, all of a sudden, I'm in the winner's circle. I feel bad for Victor, but I'm happy for myself."
Valenzuela declined to comment.
"We got pretty lucky here today," said winning trainer Ben Cecil of his Great Britain-bred who was making his first start in the United States after winning two of eight in his native country. "The last furlong I was kind of looking at Martin (Pedroza) and he was riding him pretty hard. And I thought, 'don't be too hard on him,' but now I'm glad he did get after him a little."
Genre, a bay colt by Orpen, earned $60,000 for owners David and Paula Mueller.
The race, a last-minute substitution on the Hollywood Park stakes schedule following the cancellation of turf racing at the fall meeting, is a prep for the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) Dec. 17.
"As far as running him in the Futurity, I just don't know, it depends how he comes out of this race," Cecil said. "I'd be less likely to run him. When they run off the plane, they need more time."
Genre paid $18.80, $8 and $2.10. Kissin Knight, who set the pace for the first half-mile before giving way, returned $6.60 and $2.10. Bob and John, making his stakes debut in his fourth start, paid $2.10 to show. With $223,535 of the total $236,123 wagered to show on Bob and John, there was a minus show pool of $42,087.
Objective and Icy Ridge trailed. The final time was 1:43 4/5.