Pacific Classic Stakes at Del Mar

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - The signature race at Del Mar's summer meet takes place this Sunday August 26 when the Grade 1 Pacific Classic Stakes goes down. Horses three years old and upward will be after a healthy purse of $1 million when they go one and one quarter miles on Del Mar's synthetic track.

The Pacific Classic has attracted a strong field of 10 for the richest Thoroughbred race for older horses on the West Coast. It goes as race 9 on Del Mar's packed Sunday card with a post time of 5:05 PM. Let's take a look at all of the entries for this lucrative Grade 1 race.

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2012 Pacific Classic Stakes Race Favorites

Game on Dude is a multiple Grade 1 winner that rebounded very nicely from a disappointing twelfth in the Dubai World Cup with a terrific win in the Grade 2 Californian Stakes on June 2 over Kettle Corn and then followed it up with another impressive score last time out in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup. That makes three wins in four starts this year. He nearly did enough to capture the Eclipse Award for Outstanding older males in 2011 with three graded stakes wins- the Goodwood Stakes and the Santa Anita Handicap and he finished second at the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs prior to Dubai. Bob Baffert trained Game On Dude has placed in 10 of his last 12 starts and is unquestionably the horse to beat. He will be looking to better a fourth place finish he had in this race last year.

Richard's Kid - will be going for an unprecedented third straight win in this race for a third different owner. He is coming off a win last time out in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap here on July 27 to follow a second to Game On Dude in the Hollywood Gold Cup and a win in the minor Prove It Stakes. Before that was a fourth in the Grade 2 Godolphin Mile and a fifth on the same Meydan Racecourse overseas. In 2010 before shipping overseas Richard's Kid had two straight wins in Grade 1 races in the States. With new life and two wins in his last three races, Richard's Kid is the clear second choice for the Pacific Classic.

Pacific Classic Stakes 2012 | Remaining Field Entries

Amani - very impressive Chilean filly will be looking to become the first female winner of this race after a decent third in her North American debut at the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes here on August 4 after 10 wins and a second place finish in 11 career starts in her native land. Amani has been impressive indeed - a win on Sunday will vault her to the top of her division going forward.

Suggestive Boy - made his US debut with a very impressive second in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile on June 30 and followed that with a win in the Wickerr Stakes here on July 25 after a very successful career in South America. Suggestive Boy won three straight races before shipping to North America and has now won four of his last five.

Dullahan - finished third in the Kentucky Derby to follow up a win at the Grade 1 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 14th . He more recently finished a disappointing seventh in the Belmont Stakes and then raced to another disappointing finish - a fifth last time out in the Grade 1 Haskell Stakes on July 29. But he certainly can't be discounted ahead of this race. In five starts in 2012 Dullahan has a win, a second and a third place finish for trainer Dale Romans. Dullahan is a tad inconsistent but when he puts it all together he can definitely be a force. That said, he doesn't seem to be in the best form ahead of the Pacific Classic.

Pacific Classic Stakes betting at Del Mar with

Rail Trip - seven year old gelding that has had some success - wins in the Hollywood Gold Cup and the Grade 2 Californian - but that was back in 2009 and 2010. It took until the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap on July 28 for Rail Trip to win again - a very impressive score after a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming and a fourth in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap this year. Rail Trip had an unflattering 2011 but looks much better in 2012.

Jaycito - Bob Baffert trained Jaycito endured a long layoff prior to a decent second place finish in the Grade 2 Strub Stakes on March 4. He went on to finish a distant sixth in the Grade 2 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap but did win an Allowance Optional Claiming last time out here on July 22. In nine career starts she has two wins and four second place finishes.

Where's Sterling - comes into the Pacific Classic on a two race win streak - the Mecke Stakes last time out and the Memorial Day Handicap on May 28 - both races at Calder. Before that were two fourth place finishes at Gulfstream - the Grade 3 Skip Away Stakes and the Grade 1 Donn Handicap. In 14 career starts Where's Sterling has five wins and five second place finishes.

Riveting Reason - multiple graded stakes winning colt that has struggled lately and has not placed since a second in the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes in February 2011. His last two starts have been Allowance Optional Claiming races and have resulted in a fourth last time out here and an eighth before that at Hollywood Park.

Akkadian - will be making his first stakes appearance of 2012 - he did have a ninth in the Grade 2 Oak Tree Derby and a fifth in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby last year. In three Allowance Optional Claiming races this year Akkadian has two seconds and a win last time out here on July 21.

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