Shippers Spice Up TVG Pacific Classic
Courtesy of TVG
With top older horse Catalina Cruiser bypassing to defend his title in the Pat O’Brien next week, the 29th running of the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar became a much more wide-open affair. Bolstered by four out of state shippers, the 1 ¼ mile race drew a field of 10, all vying for a Win and You’re In spot in the #6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic November 2.
#2 Quip (9-2) comes in off a narrow loss in the grade 2 Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs, where he was bestered by #5 Seeking the Soul (3-1). Quip won the Oaklawn Park Handicap earlier in the year in his second start off a layoff. The four-year-old son of Distorted Humor is trained by rising star Rodolphe Brisset, who has conditioned him to four wins in nine starts, including a pair of grade 2 scores. Florent Geroux will be aboard to try to get Quip’s first grade 1.
#5 Seeking the Soul had been knocking on the door for a major win when he took the Stephen Foster. After winning the Clark Handicap (G1) in 2017, the Dallas Stewart-trainee had been second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, third in the Clark, second in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational, and third in the Alysheba. He has finished top three in 20 of 27 lifetime starts. John Velazquez will come in to ride.
#7 Tenfold (8-1) has impressed with stellar efforts, but sometimes well beaten and runs off the board. He took the Pimlico Special (G3) by a neck over this distance two back, but then ran ninth in the Stephen Foster. Last year he won the Jim Dandy (G2) and was third in the Preakness (G1), but finished seventh in the Travers Stakes (G1). Steve Asmussen trains the four-year-old son of Curlin, who gets the services of venerable rider Mike Smith.
#1 War Story (8-1) rounds out the shippers. He has earned $2.8 million in 35 starts to date, including a recent victory in the Monmouth Cup (G3) over 1 1/8 miles. He has never hit he board going this distance or in two starts at Del Mar, but continually runs against the very best of his generation.
#3 Pavel (7-2) may be the best of the local contingent. The five-year-old gray is trained by Doug O’Neill and regularly runs in the best races in the world, including a fourth-place effort in the Dubai World Cup (G1) three back. He was second in this race last year, and with no Accelerate to contend with he looks to do one better here.
Bob Baffert’s For the Top (Arg), John Sadler’s Higher Power and Campaign, Enebish Ganbat’s Mongolian Groom, and Peter Eurton’s Draft Pick complete the field.
TVG will offer expanded, commercial-free coverage of the TVG Pacific Classic, with two dozen cameras, virtual graphics, and an expanded roster of reporters. The Pacific Classic will go as the tenth of an 11-race Del Mar card.
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