Las Vegas, NV - The second of two weekend $1 million races goes down at Del Mar racetrack Sunday August 25 when the Grade 1 Pacific Classic Stakes is run. Horses three years old and upward will be after the winner's share of the generous purse when they go 1 1/4 miles on Del Mar Race Track's dirt track.
A large field of 13 will line up in the signature race at Del Mar's summer meet with two former winner trying to repeat. Post time is 5:45 PM. Let's take a look at the credentials of all 13 combatants for this lucrative and much-anticipated Grade 1 stakes. If the $1 million purse wasn't enough - this races acts as a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Classic November 2.
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2013 Pacific Classic Stakes Race Favorite Entries
Game on Dude Bob Baffert trained gelding is a multiple Grade 1 winner and the defending runner up in this race - and he finished fourth in 2011. He has eight graded stakes scores in his last 11 starts - and has won all four of his starts this year including the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic over Clubhouse Ride back in April and last time out in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup. His only poor result the last year was in the Breeders' Cup Classic where he finished seventh. Game On Dude was a consideration for last year's Eclipse Award for older male and if not for Wise Dan, he may have been in the running this year again. He is the most accomplished entry in the field and will be looking to become only the second horse to win California's three biggest races - the Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup and Pacific Classic in the same year. He is the 5-2 favorite for the Classic and departs from post 11.
Dullahan - defending champion in this race is coming off an OK third in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap July 13 after a doomed trip to Dubai in which he finished eleventh in both races he ran there - the Dubai World Cup and in the Group 3 BURJ NAHAAR on March 9. He finished third in last year's Kentucky Derby to follow up a win at the Grade 1 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 14. He then finished a disappointing seventh in the Belmont Stakes and then raced to another disappointing finish - a fifth in the Grade 1 Haskell Stakes on July 29. Dullahan did win this race last year but was fifth in the Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap October 6. He also has a ninth in the Breeders' Cup Turf on his résumé. He has won just three of 17 career starts and is not in the best of form at the moment. Dullahan takes off from post 9 and is somehow the 7-2 second choice on the morning line.
Pacific Classic Stakes 2013 | Remaining Contenders
Kettle Corn - has placed in 13 of his last 15 starts and is coming off a terrific win in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap over the likes of Liaison here July 27 after a good second in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup behind Game On Dude, a fourth in the Grade 2 Californian June 1, a second to Liaison in the Grade 2 Mervyn Leroy Handicap May 4, a third in the Grade 3 Native Dancer Stakes December 1 and an Allowance score November 8 - his only other win in the last 18 months. He also had two consecutive wins at the end of 2011 including the Grade 3 Native Diver. Kettle Corn has a win and two seconds in four starts this year and enters confident after his win last time out. He is the 6-1 third choice and departs from post 7.
Richard's Kid - former two-time winner of this race tries to become the only three time winner - all with different owners interestingly enough. He has raced all around the world for trainer Doug O'Neill but really struggled before a terrific confidence building win last time out in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap here July 26. Before that he placed in only five of 10 starts. The best results over that span were a third in the Grade 3 Tokyo City Handicap and a third in the Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland April 21 after which he struggled again to a seventh in the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs May 3. He had another third - in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special May 17 at Churchill Downs before his latest score. He has 46 starts with 12 wins but he has to feel good coming off his first win in over a year! Despite the Cougar score, Richard's Kid sits at 8-1 on the morning line and departs from post 6.
Delegation - made his graded stakes debut with a third in the 2012 Grade 2 Play the King Stakes at Woodbine before two straight impressive wins - an Allowance Optional Claiming score and the Grade 3 Durham Cup Stakes in October at Woodbine. He went on to a very good third in the 2012 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile behind Tapizar and Rail Trip and a second in the minor Harlan's Holiday Stakes December 16 right behind Csaba. He started his 2013 campaign with an ugly eighth in the Grade 3 Hal's Hope Stakes but has won two of three since - an Allowance score in April and the Grade 3 Dominion Day Stakes July 1 with a good second in the Grade 2 Eclipse Stakes sandwiched in there. He has had just one bad start in his career and should be competitive again in the Pacific Classic. The Canadian invader is the co-fourth choice at 8-1 odds and starts from post 10.
Jeranimo - Jeranimo returned to prominence last June with a win in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile after a decent second in the race before - the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate. He was third after that in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile August 26 - the third straight race in which he placed. After that was a slight rough patch - a sixth in the Breeders' Cup Mile and a fourth in the Grade 2 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park November 23. His first start of 2013 resulted in a nice bounce back for Jeranimo - a win in the Grade 2 San Gabriele Stakes at Santa Anita January 13 but he finished last of seven in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs May 4. Jeranimo raced to a fourth two back in the 2013 Shoemaker Mile but bounced back last time out with a win in the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes on this track July 20. He is capable of winning every race he enters but then again he is also capable of falling flat. Jeranimo races from an unfavorable 12 hole as the 10-1 sixth choice.
Pacific Classic Stakes betting at Del Mar Race Track with OffTrackBetting.com
Farraaj - has raced and been successful all around the world winning four times, placing second twice and third two times in nine career starts. His only North American action was a third place finish in the 2011 Breeder's Cup Juvenile Turf. He has raced only four times since due to a couple of long layoffs but has two wins over that span - both at Lingfield in the winter. He is coming off a career worst performance however - a fifth at Sandown Park April 26. The lone overseas shipper in the race is at 12-1 on the morning line and departs from post 4.
Liaison - Bob Baffert trained Liaison endured an eight month layoff at the end of a 2012 campaign in which he didn't record victory in eight starts. He had a second in the Grade 3 Affirmed and a pair of thirds in the Swaps and Jim Dandy Stakes which were his best results. He managed to turn it around at the beginning of 2013 however - wins in the minor Santana Mile Stakes at Santa Anita and the Grade 2 Mervyn Leroy Handicap May 4 were followed by another good result - a second in the Grade 2 Californian Stakes as even-money favorite at Hollywood Park June 1. Last time out was a slight hiccup however - a fifth in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap on this track July 27. He was considered a serious contender for last year's Kentucky Derby so we know he is highly regarded. He will be out to avenge a poor performance last time out and to return to the form we saw at the beginning of this year. Liaison is 15-1 on the morning line and races from post 2.
Blueskiesnrainbows - Jerry Hollendorfer pupil won the 2012 Grade 1 Swaps Stakes but hasn't been the same since. He was an OK fourth in the Grade 2 Mervyn Leroy as 2-1 favorite at Hollywood Park May 4 of this year to follow a nice Allowance Optional Claiming score by 3 3/4 lengths March 22 and a pair of seconds in Allowance Optional Claiming to start his 2013 campaign. Last time out was his best graded stakes result in a while - a third in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap here July 26 after a fourth in an Allowance at Hollywood Park July 4 and a disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 Californian June 1. He has shown OK form but against a top-notch field look in over his head. Blueskiesandrainbows lines up from the far outside at 20-1 odds.
Byrama - was decent in 2012 with three wins, three seconds and two third place finishes in 10 starts. She has eight starts in 2013 - a good second in the Grade 1 Madison Stakes at Keeneland April 13, an OK third in the Grade 2 Buena Vista Stakes at Santa Anita, another third as favorite in the minor Wishing Well Stakes February 10 and a disappointing fourth in the competitive Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes January 6. She enters off a pair of decent third in graded stakes action - in the Grade 2 A Gleam July 13 and the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes here August 3. This after her best career result - an impressive win by 3 1/2 lengths in the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap at 6-1 odds June 15. Byrama has placed in nine of her last 11 starts and has to be on the radar based on her graded stakes results the last two months. She sits at 20-1 odds on the morning line and departs from post 8.
Holding Glory - Brazilian bred colt was impressive in her native land with four wins (including a Group 1 win) and a second in six career starts before debuting in North America with a respectable second in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track August 3. Sunday marks his second start in North America and his first in stakes company. He is cross entered in Saturday's Del Mar Handicap and sits at 20-1 odds on the morning line.
You Know I Know - John Sadler trained gelding picks a curious time for his stakes debut! He has 17 career starts with five wins, a second and three third place finishes and enters the Pacific Classic having won two of his last three starts - both Allowance Optional Claiming - the last one coming on this track August 3. Needless to say, Sunday marks a huge step up in competition. He is currently 20-1 on the morning line and lines up from post 5 Sunday.
Endorsement - Hector O. Palma trainee won the Grade 3 Texas Mile last April but hasn't tasted victory since. He had a stretch of four races from last summer to this winter in which his best result was a sixth place finish - in the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational. His last two starts have been respectable - a second last time out on this track in the minor Wickerr Stakes followed a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming in May at Churchill Downs. He starts from the rail as one of the five horses listed at 20-1 odds on the morning line.