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2023 Pat O’Brien Stakes Preview & FREE Picks | Anarchist Favored In BC Dirt Mile Prep At Del Mar
C Z Rocket winning the 2020 Pat O'Brien (Benoit Photo)

2023 Pat O’Brien Stakes Preview & FREE Picks | Anarchist Favored In BC Dirt Mile Prep At Del Mar

Magic previews the 2023 Pat O’Brien Stakes (G2) from Del Mar, then gives his top picks & long shots from this “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. Anarchist is the slight favorite in the field of 11 after narrowly losing the Bing Crosby Stakes (G1) last time out.

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The press release:

Eleven fast older horses will break from Del Mar’s eastern chute Saturday and race over seven demanding furlongs for a $250,000 purse in the 38th edition of the Pat O’Brien Stakes.

The Grade II dash goes as Race 10 on an 11-race card with an approximate post time of 6:30 p.m. The day’s first post is 2 p.m.

The race is a “Win and You’re In” special for the $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, which will be run on Saturday, November 4 at Santa Anita. A tally in the Pat O’Brien guarantees a spot in the starting gate for that affair with all fees paid.

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Saturday’s renewal of the stakes is deep in contention and Del Mar’s morning line maker, Jon White, had to work hard to sort out the bunch. He finally came up with Ilium Stables’ Anarchist, who was beaten a head by win machine The Chosen Vron following a furious finish in the July 29 Bing Crosby Stakes at six furlongs. The son of Distorted Humor, trained by Doug O’Neill, will once again be ridden by Ramon Vazquez on Saturday and go to the post a lukewarm favorite at 7/2.

Spirit of Makena, a 5-year-old by champion Ghostzapper, had a bad trip in the Crosby and finished far back. But prior to that, the George Papaprodromou-trained horse won three straight, including the San Carlos and Triple Bend stakes at Santa Anita.

C Z Rocket will be making his fourth consecutive start in the O’Brien. The 9-year-old gelding out of the Peter Miller barn won it in 2020 and finished second in 2021. Last year he didn’t have the best of trips and wound up far back.

Brickyard Ride, a 6-year-old Clubhouse Ride horse, has won 13 races and more than $2-million in trainer Craig Lewis’ care. He’s a sprint specialist but ran gamely in the mile and one-sixteenth San Diego Handicap here on July 29 to hang on for third in his latest effort.

Both Moose Mitchell and Sir Atticus take their first tries with stakes horses coming off sharp scores over allowance types.  

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Here’s the full field for the headliner from the rail out with riders and morning line odds:

  1. R L Stables’ Moose Mitchell (Mario Gutierrez, 5-1)
  2. Hurst Racing Stables’ Go Joe Won (Jose Valdivia, Jr., 50-1)
  3. Dream Team One Racing Stable’s Hoist the Gold (Reylu Gutierrez, 12-1)
  4. The Estate of Jerome S. Moss’ Sir Atticus (Mike Smith, 5-1)
  5. Altamira Racing Stable and Madaket Stable’s C Z Rocket (Geovanni Franco, 8-1)
  6. Alfred Pais’ Brickyard Ride (Juan Hernandez, 5-1)
  7. Kristine Chandler’s Spirit of Makena (Joe Bravo, 4-1)
  8. Williamson Racing’s Visitant (Antonio Fresu, 8-1)
  9. Anarchist (Ramon Vazquez, 7-2)
  10. Viejo Perro Stable’s Vivir Con Alegria (Hector Berrios, 20-1)
  11. B-4 Farms’ Bye Bye Bobby (Drayden Van Dyke, 20-1)

The O’Brien is named for the award-winning actor who was a pal of multi-media star Bing Crosby and together they founded Del Mar racetrack back in 1937.