How to bet the 2022 Pat O'Brien Stakes

August 25th, 2022

A fascinating field of 10 will run seven furlongs on the Del Mar dirt in Saturday’s $250,000 Pat O’Brien S. (G2). The field is loaded with Grade 1 talent and promises to be an exciting one as the feature on a fine day of racing at the picturesque venue.

In a field lacking a plethora of early pace, I will dabble with a few contenders that I expect to be in the mix from the opening bell.

Carter H. (G1) winner #8 Speaker’s Corner (6-5) ships in from the east for conditioner Bill Mott after having faced Flightline and Life is Good in his last pair of outings. The Street Sense colt dons a fine 4-3-1-0 mark at the trip, and he should be dead fit following five solid morning drills in advance of this heat. The Godolphin homebred possesses fine gate speed and will be in the mix from the break beneath Mike Smith.

Juddmonte homebred #7 Laurel River (5-1) has been awesome in his last two tries at Del Mar and rates an obvious chance while making his second run off the long layoff. The Into Mischief colt sparkled in his seasonal bow when dusting allowance foes, and I expect him to be a major factor from the break on Saturday with Juan Hernandez returning to the saddle.

#2 Principe Carlo (15-1) might be the inside speed of the race, and while he’s not an ideal win player, the multiple Grade-2 placed son of Coil could hang around for a long time if he secures a favorable trip just off the rail. The California-bred six-year-old is a three-time winner on the course and is much better than he showed in his most recent endeavor. Victor Espinoza will pilot the dark bay.

I have a lot of respect for many contenders in this field, among them #1 C Z Rocket (15-1), #4 American Theorem (4-1), #5 Get Her Number (8-1), and #6 The Chosen Vron (12-1), but I am playing the race as if the forwardly placed runners will be tough to pass in the stretch.

Pat O’Brien Wager

  • $1 trifecta: 7, 8 with 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 with 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 ($60)