Del Mar Raceway nicknamed “Where the Turf Meets The Surf” runs the Pat O’Brien Stakes for its fourth first time this Saturday with current favorite Speakers Corner sitting 8th in the program. The race, which is set at a 6:20 pm PST post (9:20 EST) follows right after the competition of the MidSummer Derby at Saratoga that being the Travers Stakes. However, unlike the Travers, the Pat O’Brien winner will be able to enter the Breeders Cup this November at Keeneland Park. Here is your insider review on the 2022 Pat O’Brien Stakes.
2020 Pat O’Brien Winner CZ Rocket
C Z Rocket enters the G2 Pat O’Brien with 15/1 odds and fresh off a victory in July. The Peter Miller horse is in his second year of racing and will have raced three times in the Pat O’Brien following the completion of this year’s race. CZ Rocket entered the Pat O’Brien in 2020 and won making him eligible for the Breeders Cup where he finished second in that race. However, he was unable to retain the Pat O’Brien Stakes in 2021 as GinoBill beat him across the line to win his first graded stakes race. One thing that sets CZ Rocket away from some of the other competitors in the Pat O’Brien is how he’s an older horse and has been racing since 2017. But he still has it in him as he most recently won an Allowance race this past month at Del Mar.
Príncipe Carlo comes off of a top-five finish in the G1 Bing Crosby Stakes this past June and hopes to improve in the Pat O’Brien. Now Príncipe Carlo comes off two stronger finishes from Santa Anita Park placing second in both the G2 Triple Bend Stakes and the G2 San Carlo Stakes Presented By Fanduel. Though younger than CZ Rocket, Príncipe Carlo enters the Pat O’Brien with 15/1 odds as well. One thing bettors should note before placing on Príncipe Carlo is how he has lost to some of the competitors in his previous races including American Theorem who sits at 4-1 odds. Now I wouldn’t place a bet on Príncipe Carlo winning the Pat O’Brien. However, I would definitely add him to some of my exotics.
Restrainedvengence comes into the Pat O’Brien as an outlier tied for the worst odds to win the race at 30-1. He is yet to have won a graded Stakes race this year but won the G3 American Stakes at Santa Anita in 2021. Like some of the other competitors in the field, Restrainedvengence has lost to Pat O’Brien entries this year in some of his last races. Now I wouldn’t rule him out in my exotics but judging on his last three performances where he placed fifth twice and then eight in the San Francisco Mile Stakes it would be a huge upset if he won. So the best bet is to keep him in your Superfecta.
Bing Crosby Stakes Winner American Theorem
Sitting fourth in the program at 4-1 odds is American Theorem. American Theorem is one of the younger competitors in the Pat O’Brien and is fresh off a win in the Bing Crosby Stakes this past month at Del Mar Raceway. Personally, I don’t like how American Theorem was given 4-1 odds as he performed great in the G1 Bing Crosby Stakes and in the G2 Triple Bend Stakes where he finished first in both races. However, there is a reason why his odds aren’t the best as he had a rocky start this season placing sixth in the G2 San Pasqual and in the G1 Santa Anita Handicap.
Furthermore, he performed poorly in the Twinspires Kentucky Cup Classic Stakes placing ninth. But with that said, I firmly believe that American Theorem is a great horse to place a bet on in the Pat O’Brien as he seemed to have woken up and ended his slump of finishes.
Get Her Number
Get Her Number is also one of the youngest competitors in this year’s Pat O’Brien as he started his racing career in 2020. In his most recent start, he lost to American Theorem in the Bing Crosby Stakes last year but has a shot to redeem himself as he faces off against American Theorem once more. Coming into the Pat O’Brien Get Her Number sits with 8-1 odds which is acceptable judging that he’s lost to American Theorem now twice so I wouldn’t place my bet on him winning. However, I could see Get Her Number in my exotics as well as showing in the Pat O’Brien. Definitely, a horse to consider for your exotics for this race.
The Chosen Vron
The Chosen Vron enters the Pat O’Brien at 12-1 odds and two graded stakes win this season. Before entering the Pat O’Brien, The Chosen Vron, won both the G3 Lazaro Barrera Stakes and the G3 Afrimed Stakes at Santa Anita Park in the spring of 2021. Furthermore, he comes off an ungraded Hank Mills Sr Stakes win at Turf Paradise this past year. However, The Chosen Vron didn’t race this spring but instead in the California Dreaming Stakes at Del Mar on August 6th of this month. Here’s the problem when it comes to betting on The Chosen Vron in the Pat O’Brien. Trainer Eric Kruljac decided to do a quick turnaround on this horse after a huge off-season. I don’t expect much from him in this race because of that so I wouldn’t have him in any of my bets.
Bob Baffert’s Laurel River
The first of two Bob Baffert Horses enters the Pat O’Brien at 5-1 odds. Laurel River will race in his second stakes race in his career and his first “Win and you’re in” stakes race for the Breeders Cup. Now Laurel River only has Allowance Optional Claiming race wins making him one of the less experienced horses in the program. With that being said, he also has a chance to shine bright as he takes on a group of veteran stakes runners. I think a Laurel River win in the Pat O’Brien would be huge for the team and trainer Bob Baffert as they can focus on a much larger purse at Keeneland Park.
William Monts Speakers Corner looks to capture his fourth graded stakes win with his last coming from Aqueduct Park in the G1 Carter Handicap. Speaker’s Corner is the favorite in this race for good reasons as he sits in the program at 9-5 odds for the Pat O’Brien Stakes. This year Speaker’s Corner has given trainer William Mont confidence as he won both of his two races at Gulf Stream Park. However, the largest win for Mont and Speaker’s Corner this year was his G1 Aqueduct win.
One thing that Speaker’s Corner will need to do is get out to the early lead as he did in the G1 Carter Handicap. Unlike some other horses who need the inside position at the starting gate, Speakers Corner doesn’t as he got out to the early lead in Aqueduct from 8th in the program. Surprisingly he is 8th in the starting gate for the Pat O’Brien Stakes which could just be his lucky spot.
The second and final Bob Baffert entry in the Pat O’Brien Stakes is Defunded. Defunded looks to improve significantly following his disappointing finish in the G2 San Diego Handicap where he finished 7th. Now I don’t think Defunded stands a chance against Monts Speakers Corner and Bing Crosby winner American Theorem, as he hasn’t won or performed well in a major graded stakes in his career. However, because he sits 7-1 and has some second-place finishes like his second-place finish in the Hollywood Gold Cup I’d add him to my exotics and take a chance with adding him either placing or showing.
The final horse in the Pat O’Brien Stakes is Senor Buscador. Entering with 30-1 odds he’s won of the long shots in winning the “Win and you’re in” Stakes Race. Senor Buscador just raced in the San Diego Handicap and placed eight which doesn’t give much hope to him running better in this race as multiple entries in the San Diego Handicap are entered in the Pat O’Brien. However, I’d like to see him do well as he’s still young. A good run by him may not be a top-three finish but a top five would give more confidence in entering him in more upcoming stakes races.
Final Thoughts on 2022 Pat O’Brien Stakes
So as we get close to the post time for the opening races at Del Mar and the Travers Stakes we will know who the next competitor is in the “Win And You’re In” Breeders Cup happening at Keeneland Park this November. My best slip is in for the Pat O’Brien with American Theorem in first. Speakers Corner in second, and Bob Baffert Laurel River in third. The next Breeders Cup “Win and Your In” race comes on Sunday at Saratoga Racecourse the day after the Mid-Summer Derby as the Ballerina Handicap takes over the oldest sporting venue in America.
To bet use NYRABETS for all up-to-date odds.
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