Defending race champion Catalina Cruiser was made the 4-5 favorite on oddsmaker Russ Hudak's morning line for Saturday's Grade II $200,000 Pat O'Brien Stakes.
The 34th running of the 7-furlong sprint, named after one of the track's founding fathers, is a “Win and You're In” qualifier for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Mile in November at Santa Anita.
Among the seven in the field is Seven Trumpets, a 4-year-old son of Morning Line owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and trained by Dale Romans. The colt, who arrived Monday from Kentucky, will be ridden by Hall of Famer Victor Espinoza.
“We've been riding some for West Point, so when I heard (Seven Trumpets) might be coming out I called Dale right away,” Espinoza's agent, Brian Beach, said. “We all fear Catalina Cruiser, of course, but he's a nice horse, doing well so we'll give it a shot and see what happens.”
The field from the rail: Lieutenant Dan (Abel Cedillo, 20-1), Chief Cicatriz (Ruben Fuentes, 20-1), Jalen Journey (Norberto Arroyo, Jr., 5-1), Giant Expectations (Drayden Van Dyke, 7-2), Seven Trumpets (Victor Espinoza, 15-1), American Anthem (Rafael Bejarano, 4-1) and Catalina Cruiser (Flavien Prat, 4-5).
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