Tripoli © Benoit Photo
Hronis Racing’s Tripoli saved all the ground under Tiago Pereira, shifted off the rail and around front running Tizamagician turning into the straight and registered a surprise length and a quarter tally in Saturday’s 31st edition of the Grade I, $1,000,000 TVG Pacific Classic Saturday afternoon at Del Mar.
Owners Pete and Kosta Hronis captured their third TVG Pacific Classic following the cues of trainer John Sadler, who has been their guide and mentor as they have made a remarkable ascent in the racing business under his tutelage over the past decade.
MyRacehorse or Spendthrift Farm’s Tizamagician hung on to take second four and and St. Elias Stable’s Dr Post came running late to finish third.
The winner picked up a check for $600,000, raising his career earnings to $811,960. This was his fourth win in his 14th start and his first victory in stakes company. He ran the mile and one quarter in 2:02.37.
Besides the TVG Pacific Classic prize, Tripoli also earned an all-expenses-paid entry into the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, which this year will be conducted at Del Mar on Saturday, November 6.
Tripoli is a 4-year-old colt by Kitten’s Joy who was a $450,000 yearling purchase in 2018 at the Keeneland September Sale. He didn’t race as a 2-year-old, but raced on turf for his first 11 starts before being switched to dirt in June.
Pereira was winning his first $1-miilon race in the U.S., but he also won the $10 million Dubai World Cup in 2010.
Tripoli returned $15.00, $7.80 and $4.80 across the board. Tizamagician pair $7.60 and $5.20, while Dr Post returned $4.20.
TIAGO PEREIRA (Tripoli, winner)—“(Trainer) John (Sadler) told me before the race to be careful, because there were a lot of runners who had a similar style of running. So, I was okay running right behind the leaders. When it was time to run, I had plenty of horse. But once we got in front, he started looking around, waiting on other horses. I looked around and knew we were not going to get caught. This was my only mount today, so I was really focused. I am so happy.”
JOEL ROSARIO (Dr. Post)—“Yeah, he ran a strange race today. He kind of lost interest on the backstretch, so I thought I had no horse. But when I wheeled him outside, he gave me a strong finish. I don’t know how to explain it.”
JOHN SADLER (Tripoli, winner) – “He looked good all the way. He broke on his feet so (jockey Tiago Pereira) was able to tuck him in there and he looked comfortable all the way around. When (Independence Hall) started to slow up we were in a good spot. He had a perfect trip, give the rider a lot of credit. He rode him perfectly.”
KOSTAS HRONIS, one of the owners of Hronis Racing -- “It feels great to win it again, and you’ve got to give all the credit to the barn. Tiago rode a great race. It’s the only race he rode today because he wanted to focus on it. This horse has matured and just keeps coming along and today he proved himself. We didn’t know if he could go a mile and a quarter, but today we found out.”
FRACTIONS: :23.52 :46.98 1:11.73 1:36.88 2:02.37
The stakes win was the first of the meeting for rider Pereira and also his first victory in the TVG Pacific Classic. He now has 10 stakes wins at Del Mar.
The stakes win was the second of the meeting for trainer Sadler, but his third in the TVG Pacific Classic. He now has 80 stakes wins at Del Mar, second-most of all trainers.
The winning owners – Hronis Racing – are Kosta and Pete Hronis of Delano, CA