08/24/2014 7:54PM

Goldencents finds winning form in Pat O'Brien

Benoit Photo
Goldencents pulled away early and stayed ahead Sunday in winning the Pat O'Brien Stakes at Saratoga.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Jockey Rafael Bejarano had flashbacks to last November as he rode Goldencents to victory in Sunday’s $250,500 Pat O’Brien Stakes at Del Mar.

Last fall, Goldencents led throughout the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita. On Sunday, Bejarano employed the same tactics for a record-breaking performance. Goldencents ran seven furlongs in 1:20.99, breaking Fed Biz’s 2013 track record of 1:21.12 from the same race.

“I wanted to be in front and ride him just like the Breeders’ Cup,” Bejarano said. “I was waiting for this kind of race. I wanted him to go.”

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Goldencents ($5.40) set a modest pace of 22.87 seconds and 45.44 for a seven-furlong sprint, leading by as much as 1 1/2 lengths. His six rivals could get no closer. Goldencents pulled away in early stretch to lead by four lengths with a furlong remaining and won by 4 1/4 lengths over Fed Biz, the 3-2 favorite. Silentio, a 5-1 shot making his first career start on a synthetic track, finished third, followed by Syndicated, Color of Courage, Big Macher, and Indexical.

Big Macher beat Goldencents by a half-length in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes over six furlongs July 27 but offered no threat in the final three furlongs of the Grade 2 Pat O’Brien.

Goldencents won for the first time in 2014 in the Pat O’Brien. Earlier this year, he finished second to Palace Malice in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Mile Handicap at Belmont Park on June 7 in his first start of the year. The Bing Crosby was his second start.

Owned by Glenn Sorgenstein and Josh Kaplan, Goldencents has won 6of 16 starts and earned $2,434,000. The Pat O’Brien was his first stakes win since the BC Dirt Mile.

The win in the Pat O’Brien gave Goldencents an automatic berth to the BC Dirt Mile at Santa Anita on Oct. 31 through the organization’s Win and You’re In program.