The Grade II, $200,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes puts sprinters in the spotlight on Saturday at Del Mar. The seven-furlong heat drew a field of eight. Post time for the Pat O’Brien, Race 7 on a 10-race card, is 8:03 p.m. EST. As always, be sure to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#4 ROY H (3-1) was a respectable second when last seen in the Bing Crosby behind RANSOM THE MOON. That was his first start since finishing third in the Dubai Golden Shaheen in March at Meydan in Dubai. ROY H stretches out to seven panels for the first time in his career, but he is typically a strong finisher, so it shouldn’t be an issue for him. Former rider Paco Lopez, an expert judge of pace, climbs back aboard. He should be able to prevent ROY H from working too hard early against CATALINA CRUISER, assuming he returns to pressing tactics. ROY H is the pick at this price.
#1 CATALINA CRUISER (8-5, morning-line favorite) made an easy lead and never looked back in a five-horse San Diego. He should stick to the rail like glue under the red-hot Drayden Van Dyke and try to wire this Pat O’Brien field. His works are sensational and there’s even room to improve for him in just his fourth career start. CATALINA CRUISER is the principle threat to ROY H and is more than capable of winning. However, his odds are unappealing.
#5 RANSOM THE MOON (5-2) relished the turnback in distance in the Bing Crosby last time out. He’s already had success at elongated sprints, hitting the exacta in his last four tries at 6 1/2 and seven furlongs. Flavien Prat will be aboard RANSOM THE MOON, winner of two of three lifetime starts at Del Mar, with his lone defeat occurring in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
The play: $5 exacta 4/1, $3 exacta 1/4, $2 exacta 4/5 ($10)
DFJ analysis: Drayden Van Dyke has seven mounts on Saturday, and all are 5-1 or less on the morning-line. Two of his mounts are favored, including CATALINA CRUISER in the Pat O’Brien.
Tyler Baze’s Pat O’Brien mount is on the weak side (10-1 ST. JOE BAY), but he should still have a productive Saturday at Del Mar. He rides seven times and is listed on four program favorites and a second-choice.
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