08/27/2016 6:39PM

Masochistic cruises in scratch-reduced Pat O'Brien

Benoit & Associates
Masochistic, ridden by Tyler Baze, wins the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Stakes by 3 3/4 lengths Saturday.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Masochistic earned $120,000 for little more than a workout against two rivals in Saturday’s $200,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes at Del Mar.

Masochistic ($2.40) led throughout under jockey Tyler Baze, set reasonable fractions and won without urging by 3 3/4 lengths over Vyjack, a millionaire multiple stakes winner. Indexical finished third, beaten 11 1/4 lengths.

The race had five entries, but Cautious Giant and Outside Nashville were withdrawn Saturday morning.

Masochistic ran seven furlongs in 1:20.31, just missing Solar Launch’s 1990 track record of 1:20. The Grade 2 Pat O’Brien was Masochistic’s final start before the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 5.

“He likes to run fresh,” trainer Ron Ellis said. “I think it will be perfect timing off this race. He’s going so good right now.”

Baze urged Masochistic to the front at the start and led by 2 1/2 lengths after a quarter-mile in 22.65 seconds. Masochistic led by two lengths over Indexical after a half-mile in 45.01. Through the stretch, Baze used minimal urging to keep Masochistic comfortably in front.

“Tyler got him to relax beautifully, and it looked like he was loping along,” Ellis said. “He’s a different horse this year.”

Ellis said Masochistic has thrived this year, showing more patience even though the gelding has led throughout in two starts. Masochistic won an optional claimer at 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita on July 8 in his first start of the year.

Last year, Masochistic won two stakes, including the Grade 1 Triple Bend Stakes at Santa Anita, but was last of 14 in the BC Sprint at Keeneland. Masochistic emerged from the BC Sprint with a hind-end fracture that required a lengthy layoff.

Owned by Samantha Siegel and Will Shamlian, Masochistic, 6, has won 8 of 13 starts and earned $772,550.

The O’Brien is part of the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In program, offering a fees-paid berth for the BC Dirt Mile on Nov. 4.  Ellis confirmed after the Pat O’Brien that Masochistic will be pointed for the BC Sprint, but the win on Saturday gives Siegel and Shamlian a reduction in entry and starting fees for the BC Sprint or the option of a start in the BC Dirt Mile.