Bob Baffert-trained horses among early nominees for Pacific Classic at Del Mar
Fifteen horses have been nominated for the Sept. 2 Pacific Classic, although racing secretary David Jerkens believes the premier event on the Del Mar calendar likely will have nine starters.
The probables for the Pacific Classic are the duo of Arabian Knight and Defunded from trainer Bob Baffert, Richard Mandella’s Geaux Rocket Ride (the winner of the Haskell Stakes), San Diego Handicap winner Senor Buscador (Todd Fincher), the John Shirreffs-trained Skinner, Cougar II Stakes winner Order and Law (Robert Hess), 2021 Pacific Classic winner Tripoli (John Sadler), San Diego Handicap runnerup Slow Down Andy (Doug O’Neill) and Santa Anita Handicap winner Stilleto Boy (trained by Ed Moger Jr.).
Also nominated for the $1 million, 1¼-mile race before Thursday’s deadline was Baffert’s Azul Coast, American Admiral, Piroli, Katonah, Missed the Cut and Call Me Fast.
Jerkens rated the O’Neill-trained Katonah as “possible.” He thinks the other five horses nominated are targeting other races. Piroli and Missed The Cut could race during Del Mar’s final weekend. Call Me Fast is entered in a stakes race in West Virginia today.
Formal entries for the Pacific Classic will be taken Tuesday. The winner of the Pacific Classic earns a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Nov. 4. The retired Flightline won both the Pacific Classic and Breeders Cup Classic last year.
Eddie’s New Dream had to wait five days to win Friday’s feature — the $150,000 Solana Beach Stakes, which was postponed from last Sunday. But trainer Ben Cecil had to wait four years to win his second stakes race at Del Mar.
Jockey Mario Gutierrez had the 5-year-old daughter of Square Eddie running just behind Chancery Way deep into the far turn when she took the lead in the mile run on the turf for older fillies and mares.
Eddie’s New Dream ($7.20) finished 11/4 lengths ahead of fast-closing Rose Maddox (Juan Hernandez), who finished a head in front of Chancery Way. Favorite Ultimate Hy ran fifth among eight starters.
“Today she was happy right where she was,” Gutierrez said of Eddie’s New Dream. “She was nice and relaxed. As she’s gotten older, she’s gotten better. She’s real mature now and she’s really good. She’s one of those horses you like to ride.”
“Plans rarely work out, but this time they did,” said owner J. Paul Reddam. “We thought Chancery Way had a lot of speed … and if she broke out, we would track her. When she rolled up alongside the leader, I thought, ‘OK, here we go.’<TH>”
Today’s feature is the Grade II Pat O’Brien Stakes, a seven-furlong race for older horses.
While Anarchist is the morning-line, 7-2 favorite in the 11-horse field, the sentimental favorite will be 9-year-old gelding C Z Rocket.
This will be C Z Rocket’s 42nd career start and fourth try in the Pat O’Brien, a race won by the son of City Zip in 2020. C Z Rocket finished second to Ginobili in 2021 and ran eighth last year. In his most recent start, C Z Rocket ran fifth in the Grade I Big Crosby Stakes at Del Mar on July 29.
Anarchist (7-2) ran second to The Chosen Vron in the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar on July 29.
• Rothschild, a $700,000 son of Uncle Mo, won a special 6½-furlong race for 2-year-olds. Second to the Tim Yakteen-trained Rothschild was John Sadler’s $825,000 Indespensable. Fourth in the field of six was another $700,000 purchase — the Baffert-prepared Wynstock.
• Antonio Fresu followed Thursday’s three-win day with two wins Friday — Straighten Up for trainer Doug O’Neill ($6.20) in the second and She’s Got a Way ($8.40) in the fifth — to move into sole possession of third in the jockey standings.
• Trainer Brian Koriner, 57, scored win No. 1,000 Thursday with Diamond Bar Girl (Juan Hernandez) in the second race.
• Umberto Rispoli, who is second in Del Mar’s jockey standings, is in Japan this weekend representing the United States in the World All-Star Jockey Championships.
• For numerologists — the eight wins Friday were divided evenly between the Nos. 1 and 3.
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