Photo: Melanie Martines
Goldencents, second in three Del Mar sprint stakes going
back to the 2013 meeting, left no doubt as to his superiority Sunday as
he won the Grade II $250,000 Pat O'Brien Stakes from wire-to-wire under
jockey Rafael Bejarano.
Sent to the lead from the start of the seven-furlong dash,
Goldencents, the 8-5 second choice, set a fast pace and blazed home
with a final furlong in 12 seconds to score by four lengths in 1:20.99,
setting a track record. The former mark of 1:21.12 was established by
Fed Biz a year ago in the O'Brien. Fed Biz was second Sunday as the 3/2
favorite under Martin Garcia.
"He broke so good today and that was the big difference," said winning rider Bejarano. "Last time (Bing
Crosby S. at Del Mar July 27) we had a bad break and we couldn't get to
where we wanted to be. I've been waiting for a race like this and for
him to be able to do his thing. I stayed busy on him to the end. I
didn't want him to let up."
Goldencents, whose most important victory came in the
Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita last November, had been runner-up
in both the Bing Crosby and O'Brien Stakes last summer and was second
again in this summer's Bing Crosby, losing to Big Macher narrowly after
The four-year-old Into Mischief colt is owned by W.C.
Racing, Inc., which is Glen Sorgenstein and Josh Kaplan of Santa Monica,
CA, and trained by Doug O'Neill.
Fed Biz was 1 length ahead of Silentio for the runner-up
spot, with Syndicated another three-quarters of a length back in fourth
place in the field of seven sprinters. Big Macher was sixth. Diamond
Bachelor was scratched from the original field.
The triumph was the sixth in 16 starts for Goldencents and first money of $150,000 increased his earnings to $2,434,000.
The Pat O'Brien Stakes is a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're
In" contest qualifying the winner for an expenses-paid berth in the
Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, the race Goldencents won last year.
Source: Del Mar