Giant Expectations lived up to his name Aug. 26 at Del Mar, annexing the Pat O'Brien (G2) in his stakes debut.
The 4-year-old colt by Frost Giant broke his maiden at Belmont in May.
Bred in New York by Sunrise Stables, Giant Expectations races for Exline-Border Racing and Gatto Racing. He was offered at Keeneland’s 2014 September Yearling Sale by Woods Edge Farm. He sold as a short yearling at the January Horses of All Ages Sale for $85,000 to Is It Real Stable.
In the O’Brien, the Peter Eurton-trainee was well back and wide during the early going. He rallied in the stretch under urging from jockey Gary Stevens, collaring leader Calculator in the final sixteenth to score by 1½ lengths. He ran the seven furlongs in 1:21.08.
The victory secured Giant Expectations a slot in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) as a part of the “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series.
“He broke sharp and he was right in it,” said Stevens of the O'Brien score. “I used one of his gears a little earlier than I wanted to get position. There was some jockeying going on out there, especially between (Kent) Desormeaux (on third-place Silent Bird) and me. We were going in and out, but my horse loved it (the competition).
“He’s a bulldog,” Stevens said. “I rode him last time and he ran great. I thought he was sitting on something big. He showed it today. I think he’ll actually be better off if they run him a mile (in the Breeders’ Cup). He’ll have more time to settle going into that first turn and I expect he’ll run big.”