BigDaddy News

Horse Racing News

Anarchist Stretches to Seven Furlongs in O’Brien

Given that Anarchist  won the seven-furlong Pat O’Brien Stakes (G2) after narrowly losing the six-furlong Bing Crosby Stakes (G1), logic would dictate he wants more distance. Yet that’s what makes the Aug. 26 O’Brien at Del Mar even more impressive: Anarchist has finished first or second in his every attempt at six or 6 1/2 furlongs, and the only two times he has run out of the money has come at seven furlongs.

Anarchist hadn’t tried seven furlongs since July 2022, and since then the game 4-year-old colt has competed on dirt, turf, and synthetic. That has included two trips east, where he won the Jacques Cartier Stakes (G3) at Woodbine and finished second to champion sprinter Elite Power  in the True North Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park.

Bing Crosby winner The Chosen Vron  bypassed the O’Brien, and favoritism bounced back and forth between Anarchist and Triple Bend Stakes (G2) winner Spirit of Makena , who had trouble and lost all chance in the Bing Crosby. Anarchist ended up as the 5-2 O’Brien favorite over Spirit of Makena at 2.80-1.

Brickyard Ride , who had defeated Anarchist in the Kona Gold Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita, took the lead as expected, setting swift fractions as he went the first quarter-mile in :21.49 and a half-mile in :44.44.

Spirit of Makena and Anarchist both bided their time, Spirit of Makena in third and Anarchist in fifth. Spirit of Makena made the first move at the three-eighths pole, traveling three-wide. Jockey Ramon Vazquez brought Anarchist even wider as they began to gobble up ground. 

Sign up for

At the top of the lane, Anarchist edged ahead of Spirit of Makena and then began drawing away from the field. Bye Bye Bobby , a 33-1 shot coming off a third in the 1 1/2-mile Cougar II Stakes (G3), raced last of the 10 for a half-mile and put in a furious rally six wide to make a race of it late. But Anarchist held him off by three-quarters of a length in 1:23.21. C Z Rocket , also coming from far back, finished another length behind in third.

“He was good today, full of run,” said Vazquez of Anarchist. “I took a little hold on him, and he was fine with it. Then when I asked him, he really went.”

Anarchist and jockey Ramon Vazquez win the Grade II, $250,000 Pat O'Brien Stakes, Saturday, August 26, 2023 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar CA.© BENOIT PHOTO
Photo: Benoit Photo

Ramon Vazquez and Anarchist after winning the Pat O’Brien Stakes at Del Mar

The O’Brien comes with a “Win and You’re In” berth to the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), a distance Anarchist has never attempted. Under Breeders’ Cup rules, if Anarchist’s connections decide instead to run him in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at six furlongs, he would not receive an automatic starting berth and his connections would “have to pay the difference in starting fees (the total of pre-entry and entry fees) between those for the Championship race in the Challenge division won and those for the Championship race entered.”

The father-and-son team of Angelo and James Freda own Anarchist in the name of their Ilium Stable. Christopher Davis trained the colt through his first four starts in Florida and Kentucky before the Fredas sent Anarchist to the West Coast and trainer Doug O’Neill.

“I’ve got to thank Chris Davis,” O’Neill said after the O’Brien.”I got this horse basically on third base. This horse came ready-made. Chris and his crew did a great job.”

O’Neill added that the key to Anarchist is acting like the finish line is at the quarter pole.

“He doesn’t have a big stretch run, but he grinds it out,” O’Neill said. “We were hoping if he was leading turning for home we’d have a big chance, and it worked out perfectly.”

Centaur Farms bred Anarchist, a 4-year-old son of Distorted Humor Vicarious Won , by Elusive Quality , in Kentucky. Greenfield Farm consigned the colt to the 2020 Keeneland September yearling sale, where Ilium Stable purchased him for $75,000.

Video: Pat O’Brien S. (G2)

Leave feedback about this

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Service


Add Field


Add Field
Choose Image
Choose Video

Want To Earn From Skills ?

Bonus On New ID