Las Vegas, NV - The main event on a busy Sunday, August 24 at Del Mar Race Track is the Grade 1 Pacific Classic - a 1 1/4 miles test for horses three years old and upward on Del Mar's All Weather track. A tremendous purse of $1 million will be on the line as will an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Classic in October.
A terrific field of 11 will take to the track in the Pacific Classic - race 10 on Del Mar's stacked Sunday card. Post time is 5:46 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all 11 entries for this lucrative Grade 1 stakes.
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2014 Pacific Classic Race Favorite Entries
Shared Belief - undefeated reigning Eclipse award winner for two year old colts and Jerry Hollendorfer trainee will race for just the third time in 2014. Last time out was a terrific win in the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Derby July 5 after an Allowance score at Golden Gate May 26 and six months away due to a nagging foot injury. Before his layoff he had three starts and three wins - the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity by 5 3/4 lengths, the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes and a MSW at first asking. Shared Belief has five convincing wins by a combined 30 lengths in five career starts and is an Eclipse Award winner for a reason - he's darn good. Mike Smith will ride the 5-2 favorite from the outside post Sunday looking to keep the impressive role going against older horses.
Game on Dude Bob Baffert trained gelding is a multiple Grade 1 winner and is the defending two time champion in this race. He has 12 graded stakes scores in his last 18 starts - five straight last year including the 2013 Charles Town Classic over Clubhouse Ride, the 2013 Hollywood Gold Cup in July and the 2013 Pacific August 25 in the second fastest time recorded in that race in the last 10 years. He stumbled a bit in the winter losing three straight - a disappointing fifth in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes February 8, a second to Will Take Charge in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 29 and a very disappointing ninth as 8-5 favorite in the Breeders' Cup Classic but he bounced back with a terrific repeat win in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap - a race he's won three times. Last time out was a tepid fourth in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 28 which followed a second in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic April 19. He was the most impressive horse on the planet last year and has looked just OK in his last three starts overall. Martin Garcia will be in the saddle from post 5 as the 3-1 second choice as Game On Dude looks to get back to his winning ways.
Pacific Classic 2014 | Remaining Contenders
Majestic Harbor - took to the track for the first time since last May and finished a good second behind Blueskiesnrainbows in the Grade 2 San Pasqual at 17-1 odds January 11 and followed that with an OK fourth in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes February 8. Last time out was a stellar win at 14-1 odds by 6 1/4 lengths over Game On Dude in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita and another good win win - by three lengths in the Grade 3 Tokyo City Cup March 29. He now has six wins, six seconds and four thirds in 23 career starts and off a career best effort against a top field - he has to be in the conversation this week. Tyler Baze will be aboard from the 7-hole Sunday at 9-2 odds.
Clubhouse Ride - finished second in four straight races to start 2013 including the Charles Town Classic behind Game On Dude, the Big Cap and the Grade 2 San Antonio and then went on to a terrific win in the last year's Californian when it was at Hollywood Park in June. He failed to place in his next five starts however including a sixth in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap in July and a fourth in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup three weeks earlier. He enters this weekend off a decent second behind Majestic Harbor in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita which followed a terrific win in the Grade 2 Californian at 6-1 odds May 31, a fourth in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic April 19 and third in two straight races - in the minor Santana Mile Stakes March 30 and the Grade 2 San Carlos Stakes March. Clubhouse Ride has just five wins in 38 career starts but enters this weekend having placed in four of his last five starts overall. Joe Talamo rides from gate 9 looking to keep the recent upward trend going - at 8-1 odds.
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Irish Surf - had a two race win streak last summer including a MSW in July but failed to place in his next seven starts - before a terrific win last time out - by 8 1/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap here July 25. Before that was an OK fourth place finish in the Grade 2 Charles Whittingham Stakes here May 24 and a fourth and a fifth respectively in a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming races here this year. He has 18 career starts with three wins, a second and four third place finishes and enters off by far his best career result. Irish Surf looks to keep the momentum going with Elvis Trujillo aboard from gate 2 at 8-1 odds. He is also entered in the Del Mar Handicap on Saturday so he may sit this one out.
Toast Of New York - impressive Jamie Osbourne trained colt made his North American debut last time out and finished a disappointing sixth in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational July 5 after an impressive three race win streak by a combined 10 lengths - including a 2 1/2-length score in the UAE Derby March 29 - his first start of 2014 and a pair of wins at Wolverhampton to end his 2013 campaign. His best work has come on synthetic surfaces - this race really plays to his strengths. Toast Of New York starts from gate 8 at 10-1 on the morning line with Jamie Spencer in the saddle.
Frac Daddy - raced to a sixteenth in the 2013 Kentucky Derby and was fourteenth in the Belmont Stakes for trainer Kenneth McPeek but has looked much better in 11 starts since - four wins and three seconds. He enters this weekend off a somewhat disappointing fourth in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap here July 26 after an OK second in the Grade 3 Dominion Day Stakes July 1 and a great win in the Grade 2 Eclipse Stakes June 1. Before that was a disappointing fourth in the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park May 11, a 4 3/4 length win in the Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland April 19 and a pair of good seconds - in the minor Maxxam Gold Cup at Sam Houston March 1 and in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf at Churchill Downs November 16. Frac Daddy has three wins and three seconds in his last eight starts overall with two fourths in there too - in the best form of his career. He goes off at 15-1 odds with Joe Talamo in the irons from the rail.
Imperative - George Papaprodromou trained gelding has 17 career starts with three wins, four seconds and two third place finishes and is coming off an ugly eighth in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap which followed an OK third in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 28. This after a career defining win - in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic over Game On Dude and Clubhouse Ride April 19 at 26-1 odds. He also had a good second ahead of Game On Dude in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes February 8 and has placed in six of his last eight starts overall. Imperative had been competitive as ever in 2014 before last time out and will have Kent Desormeaux in the reins from gate 3 at 20-1 odds.
Mystery Train - arrives from Argentina where he had 19 career starts with eight wins, four seconds and three third place finishes. He races for the first time since May when he won his third straight race - the other two being Group 1 races in his native land. Mystery Train is a bit of a mystery heading into the weekend but has three wins and two third place finishes in five starts this year. He is listed at 20-1 odds and departs from gate 10.
Ice Cream Truck - AC Avila trained gelding made his stakes debut July 25 and finished a good third in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap on this track after 16 career starts yielded just two wins, seven seconds and two third place finishes. He has placed in all nine starts this year - two wins, five seconds and two third place finishes. Tiago Josue Periera will get the call from post 3 as the longest shot in the field - 30-1 odds.