The 2011 Pacific Classic from Del Mar is for three year olds and upward going 1 ¼ miles on the dirt for a purse of $1,000,000.
This looks like a strong race with 7 of 10 entrants having won a graded stakes race. The race includes 4 Grade 1 winners and 2 others that are Grade 1 placed.
Let’s take a look at the field.
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Don Cavallo (El Prado x Transcendental by Mt. Livermore) ships in after a win last out in the Dominion Day at Woodbine. He was on the muscle from the get go and entered the stretch with a 5 length lead before winning by 3 ¾ lengths. This is a horse that does his best running going long so this distance will work to his advantage. His latest work of :59 B as well as the fact that Luis Contreras is making the trip is quite encouraging. Plenty to like about the Roger Attfield trained colt.
Jeranimo (Congaree x Jera by Jeblar) couldn’t catch Acclamation last out in the Eddie Read. The last time he routed on a synthetic surface he finished fourth in the 2010 Santa Anita Handicap, but before that won the Grade 2 Strub Stakes. This distance may be a bit out of his range, but he is training well and possesses enough back class to win.
Stately Victor (Ghostzapper x Collect The Cash by Dynaformer) Winner of the 2010 Bluegrass Stakes chased a slow pace to be third beaten 6 lengths in the Dominion Day last out. He has a sharp five furlong work in :59 4/5 H over the track. I have to imagine Mike Maker has shipped in for a reason. Mike Smith will ride.
Tres Borrachos (Ecton Park x Pete’s Fancy by Peteski) Gelding has done a total 180 since trainer Martin Jones got him. In his first race since September the gelding finished third in an allowance race on Jun 10. That was a strong race and it served to tighten the bolts as he would win the San Diego Handicap in his next start. That victory means he automatically qualifies for the Breeders Cup Dirt Mile. The big difference for this gelding has been learning to come from off the pace. He fits with jockey Rafael Bejarano very well. Tres Borrachos got as good a shot as any horse to win the Pacific Classic.
Acclamation (Unusual Heat x Winning In Style by Silveyville) He got an easy lead in his last two races and kept going as a result. Those were Grade 1 races, but in name only. The fields were just plain bad. Moving to the main track where he is winless in six tries. That makes him hard to like. Patrick Valenzuela gets the mount for trainer Donald Warren.
Setsuko (Pleasantly Perfect x Dance With Grace by Mr Prospector) Draw a line through that last race where he chased a slow pace and was going further than he should. Richard Mandella trained colt has just 1 win in 15 starts, but was second beaten only a nose after some bumping in the Santa Anita Handicap and was second behind Twirling Candy in the Californian. He looks live at a price with Victor Espinoza up.
Great Warrior (Leroidesanimaux x Esther Rose by Seeking The Gold) Three year old is working very well for trainer AC Avila and Omar Berrio gets the call to ride. The saddle slipped in his last race so forget that one. This will be his first true try on a synthetic track if you don’t count that last one. Has finished behind good horses like Burns and Cloud Man. Despite that, he’s going to have to step up big time to compete here. He could be an exotics possibility.
Game On Dude (Awesome Again x Worldly Pleasure by Devil His Due) It must be nice to be Bob Baffert. He will get to watch Coil in the Travers on Saturday and then this fast, fast gelding on Sunday. Game On Dude won the Santa Anita Handicap in March and has done well since with on the board finishes in the Charles Town Classic and Lone Star Park Handicap. After those tries he was second beaten just a nose in the Hollywood Gold Cup. He’s tactical enough to be on the lead or behind a few horses. The works are sharp and he has to be considered the favorite here even if the morning line maker didn’t see it.
Twirling Candy (Candy Ride x Danzing by Chester House) That final quarter of a mile has killed him in the Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup. Can he get it done this time? Trainer John Sadler has been giving him longer works in what I have to assume is an attempt to get some stamina in him. He would handle this field with ease if he runs his best race, but the distance will always be a question until he wins going 1 ¼.
Quindici Man (Came Home x Humble by Valiant Nature) Love the way he came running to be third beaten half a length in the Santa Anita Handicap. He has raced on the turf twice since then. Getting off that surface should help him. Martin Garcia in the irons is a plus.