A cast of eight speedsters will compete in Saturday’s $150,000 Pat O’Brien (G2) at Del Mar. The ”Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In” contest will reward the first-place finisher with a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) on November 7.
Pat O’Brien Analysis
#1 Law Abidin Citizen has speed from the rail and will be sent from the break. #4 Flagstaff and #6 Vertical Threat will be forcing the tempo early on.
Pat O’Brien Contenders
#1 LAW ABIDIN CITIZEN — Versatile sort is a graded winner on both turf and dirt for Glatt. Twirling Candy 6-year-old was a solid third in the recent Bing Crosby (G1), and any improvement will make him a major contender on Saturday. Abel Cedillo will pilot the dark bay.
#2 P R RADIO STAR — D’amato trainee is 2-for-2 on the strip since being claimed for $25,000. Warrior’s Reward gelding has been first or second in four straight overall, and he is a must use for the exotics given his affinity for Del Mar. Juan Hernandez gets the call.
#3 MANHATTAN UP — Top-three threat makes his first outing since being gelded. Street Boss 4-year-old was a winner in his lone prior try at Del Mar, and he could be a danger in the lane if he responds to the change. Tiago will bring the Kentucky-bred from well off the early pace.
#4 FLAGSTAFF — Talented son of Speightstown has been consistently very good for trainer John Sadler. Kentucky-bred 6-year-old has won or placed in three of his four assignments on the surface, and he comes in fresh with a solid string of morning moves locally. Victor Espinoza will guide the one to beat.
#5 C Z ROCKET — Peter Miller pupil has reeled off three straight allowance tallies since being claimed by this outfit in April. Son of City Zip has never run at Del Mar, but his form is superb and having Prat in the silks is a good thing, as well. The bay will be stalking from off the pace on Saturday.
#6 VERTICAL THREAT — Lightly raced colt from the Baltas shedrow has romped home in a pair of dirt races in succession. Son of Tapiture looked the part in his facile Smiling Tiger S. victory on the oval most recently, but he faces a much tougher task on Saturday against a fine group of elders. Sophomore will need to prove he could run with this kind before I can back him.
#7 GIANT EXPECTATIONS — First Giant 7-year-old missed by a neck in the race in 2019 for Eurton. New York-bred chestnut is unraced since the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) in November, but he is training well and has fired from off the bench in the past. Rispoli will ride the intriguing top-three candidate.
#8 BLAMEITONTHELAW — One-run closer from the barn of Ron Ellis had a solid prep for the O’Brien when a closing third in a solid allowance test on the course. Two-time local victor didn’t factor in the race when stuck behind a slow early tempo last campaign, but the son of Blame will have faster fractions to rally into while facing this crew. Drayden Van Dyke has the call.
Pat O’Brien Wagers
- $2 Trifecta: 4 with 1,2 with all ($24)
- $2 Trifecta: 4 with all with 1,2 ($24)
- $1 Trifecta: 1,2 with 4 with all ($12)