Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Stakes takes place this Sunday, August 25 from Del Mar Race Track in Del Mar, California as part of the Pacific Classic undercard. Horses three years old and upward will take to Del Mar's dirt track and go seven furlongs for the winner's share of the $250,000 purse.
A large field of 13 will line up in the Pat O' Brien - race 7 on Del Mar's Sunday schedule. Post time is 4:10 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all 13 combatants for this Grade 2 stakes. The seven-furlong Polytrack test carries an automatic berth to the winner in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita in November.
Goldencents - may have been the biggest disappointment of the Kentucky Derby with his seventeenth place finish as one of the favorites. Although he was a pedestrian fifth in the Preakness, he did bounce back with a good second last time out in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby at Del Mar July 28. Before the Kentucky Derby he had three wins in four starts including the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby in April, the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot and Sham Stakes. Goldencents now has four wins and two second place finishes in nine starts for trainer Doug O'Neill and races again in a more comfortable sprint distance. He looks to get back in the winner's circle this week for the first time since April and will have the pleasure of Joel Rosario in the saddle from post 3 Sunday.
Fed Biz - Bob Baffert trained colt has four wins in 13 career starts including the Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes January 12 over Tritap and Guilt Trip. He had an OK third in the Grade 2 Strub February 2, a third in the Grade 1 Frank Kilroe Mile March 2 and was second in the minor Thunder Road Stakes at Santa Anita April 6. His last two starts have been resulted in off-the-board finishes however - a fourth last time out in the Grade 1 Eddie Read here July 20 followed a fifth in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap May 27. He had a hiccup this past winter as well - a sixth in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes to follow an eighth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. He shortens up in distance and switches surfaces for the Pat O'Brien hoping to put an end to the worst stretch of what has been a pretty good career.
Drill - Bob Baffert trainee has four wins in 17 career starts but those wins are spaced out - no real consistently good results have come from this colt. He won the 2011 Del Mar Futurity and then took six more months before winning the Grade 2 San Vicente in February 2012 and then the Lazaro Barrera in May. He hasn't placed in his last five starts however - five fourth place finishes including the last four starts in a row (the Grade 2 San Carlos, the Grade 3 San Simeon, the Grade 2 American Handicap and the Grade 1 Triple Bend) and one sixth place finish in there. He hopes to break that string this Sunday. He is 3-for-6 at this distance and hopes to break the slump Sunday.
Morning Line - raced for the first time in over a year and finished a very respectable third in the Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap June 29 at Hollywood Park. He looked terrific in a wire-to-wire win in his first start of 2012 in the Grade 2 Mervyn Leroy Handicap and followed that with a fourth in the Grade 2 Californian Stakes before being forced to the sidelines. It was just over two years ago that he won the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct and was second in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap. He has five wins, four seconds and two third places in 15 career start. He hopes to get back to his pre-layoff form and the third place finish last time out was a good start.
Majestic City - Ron Ellis trained colt has placed in three of his last nine starts but endured a seven month layoff between last June and May of this year. He had a pair of sixths in minor stakes action before the layoff and returned to an OK fourth in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap May 27. Last time out was a close fourth in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby here July 28 after a second in Paynter's return to the track in an Allowance at Hollywood Park June 14. He had three straight wins to start his career including the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship, a third in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity and a second in the Grade 1 Dixiana Futurity but hasn't tasted victory since July 2011 - Majestic City will be hard pressed to break that streak this week.
Batti Man - Argentinean bred gelding raced in stakes company for the first time and finished an OK fourth in the Grade 3 Tokyo City Cup March 23 after nine Allowance Optional Claiming and a Claiming race in North American produced three seconds and a third place finish. He had two wins and two third place finishes in four starts at home before shipping to North America and had an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Hollywood Park May 17 but followed that with a fifth in the Grade 2 Californian June 1. Last time out was a respectable third in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap here July 27. He has three wins, three seconds and four third place finishes in 19 career starts but cuts back in distance for the Pat O'Brien.
Great Hot - Brazilian bred Great Hot had 11 starts in 2012 with only three seconds and a pair of thirds in minor stakes action. She was a distant ninth in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint and followed that with a third in the Kalookan Queen Stakes to end her 2012 campaign. She had a fourth in the Pasadena Handicap at Santa Anita January 13 and followed that with an impressive win (her first in 13 races) and a career best 98 Beyer Speed Figure in the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes in February with Gary Stevens aboard. Since that time she has a pair of fourths - last time out in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch and in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita in March. She returns to sprinting hoping to get back on the winning track this Sunday.
Handsome Mike - has just three wins in 18 career starts - a Maiden Special Weight score at Santa Anita in October, out of nowhere in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby in September and in April at the Grade 3 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland - the only time he's placed in six starts this year. Last time out was an ugly eighth in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap after an OK fourth in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes May 4. Also this year Handsome Mike had a seventh in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap, a fourth in the Grade 2 Strub Stakes to follow a pedestrian fifth in the competitive San Fernando in January. Handsome Mike placed in just three of his last 13 starts but opened a few eyes three back with his win in the Commonwealth.
Mobilized - was fifth in this race last year after a fifth in the Grade 2 American Handicap, a decent third in the Grade 1 Triple Bend at Hollywood on June 30 and another fifth in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap -all in 2012. He has just one start this year - a third in an Allowance on this track July 25. He did win in the Tiznow Stakes on April 28 2012 - the last time he's hit the winner's circle and recorded an Allowance score at Santa Anita in March but isn't expected to be competitive in this year's Pat O'Brien.
Gonna Fly Now - John Sadler trained gelding races in stakes company for the first time Sunday having placed in all but his debut. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track July 28 after a pair of seconds in Allowance races at Hollywood Park. He takes a huge leap up in competition but has looked good against the lesser competition so far.
No Silent - Gary Mandella trained colt races in stakes company for the first time Sunday but is coming off two straight Allowance scores - the last coming on this track July 25. He has four wins, six seconds and one third place finish in 13 career starts but also takes an enormous step up in competition Sunday.
Wine Police - returned August 1 to a win in an Allowance Optional Claiming here after a 20 months off. Before the layoff he finishes third in two of his three graded stakes starts with an ugly eight in the Grade 1 Malibu directly before the layoff. He steps up again this week hoping to regain the form we saw in 2011.
Longview Drive - Jerry Hollendorfer trainee races for the first time since September 2012 - an Allowance at Golden Gate after a seventh in the minor Oceanside Stakes on this track in July. He has three wins, two seconds and four third place finishes in 12 career starts but makes his first appearance in nearly a year Sunday.
Royal F J - last raced in graded stakes company in 2010 - a seventh in the Grade 2 Oak Tree Derby. He has four starts in 2013 - all Allowance Optional Claiming with a win February 14, a second and two third place finishes - one coming last time out July 4 at Hollywood Park. He re-enters graded stakes competition in so-so form.