When Leo Durocher said “Nice guys finish last,” he didn’t have David Hofmans in mind.
The 70-year-old Los Angeles native has labored long and hard since starting his career as a trainer in 1974. His diligence has paid off.
In addition to more than 1,000 career victories, Hofmans has three Breeders’ Cup triumphs. They came with Alphabet Soup in the1996 Classic at Woodbine, Adoration in the 2003 Distaff at Oak Tree, and rank outsider Desert Code in the 2008 Turf Sprint at Oak Tree.
Hofmans hopes to post his fourth Breeders’ Cup win with Schoolofhardrocks
, a 2-year-old son of Rock Hard Ten who won his only start, coming from behind going a mile on Del Mar’s Polytrack Aug. 31.
But first things first. Schoolofhardrocks is 4-1 on the morning line for Saturday’s Grade I, Win and You’re In FrontRunner Stakes for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles. It is one of five Grade I prep races for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be held for the second of three consecutive years at Santa Anita on Nov. 1 and 2.
The Kentucky-bred is owned by John Amerman and his wife, Jerry, who bred the colt.
“He’s getting better. He’s kind of immature, but he’s coming into himself,” Hofmans said. The more we do with him, the more he learns and the better he gets, I think.”
The FrontRunner field: Ontology, Corey Nakatani, 10-1; Schoolofhardrocks, Victor Espinoza, 4-1; Even Echo, Felipe Martinez, 50-1; Can the Man, Martin Garcia, 4-1; Roundupthelute, Garrett Gomez, 9-2; Tamarando, Julien Leparoux, 4-1; Dance With Fate, Rafael Bejarano, 7-2; Better Bet, Alberto Delgado, 30-1; Bond Holder, Mario Gutierrez, 12-1; Test Ride, Edwin Maldonado, 15-1; and Flat Gone, Brice Blanc, 30-1.