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HRN Original Blog:
Kentucky Oaks Runner

Luck in the Pacific Classic, or not?

2011 has had its fair share of groundbreaking events and electrifying races, but this weekend has the potential to top the charts. Not only will racing fans finally get to see Uncle Mo return to action in the Kings Bishop Stakes on a star-studded Saratoga Saturday card, but the nation’s current leading older mare and Horse of the Year candidate, Blind Luck, could be taking on males for the first time in her storied career at Del Mar on Sunday.


The Pacific Classic (Gr.1) attracted 18 nominations with a field of twelve or more possible to run in the $1 million event. With main divisional rival Havre de Grace heading to the Woodward Stakes (Gr.1) at Saratoga on September 3rd for her first meeting with males, Blind Luck’s trainer Jerry Hollendorfer ruled out possible runs in both the August 28th Personal Ensign and Woodward Stakes, stating the champion filly would stay home for her next race. There are two options on the table for Blind Luck, The Pacific Classic this weekend, and the Lady’s Secret Stakes (Gr.1) on October 1st. The logical choice is the Pacific Classic as Havre de Grace will be heading for a prestigious showdown with the males in early September and could gain a lead in the race for the Horse of the Year with a win. If Hollendorfer really wants to give Blind Luck her best shot at winning another championship this year, he’ll send her against the males.


The Pollard’s Vision filly is currently undefeated in two starts at the 1 ¼ mile distance of the Pacific Classic, winning the Alabama Stakes at Saratoga last year, and most recently capturing a thrilling rendition of the Delaware Handicap (gr.2) on July 16th. Both races were won by a neck and a nose over Havre de Grace. Blind Luck has been training exceptionally well over Del Mar’s all weather track in preparation for her  next start, starting with a strong 1:00.00 flat five furlong breeze on July 29th that she followed up with a 1:00.40 five furlong work one week later on August 5th. Her two latest works are identical six furlong moves that she completed in 1:13.40, completing the last breeze on August 17th. She is scheduled to make put in her final work on August 24th.

[Will Blind Luck enter/win the Pacific Classic? She currently ranks a very close third on HRN's Active Horses Rankings page]

The Pacific Classic has a strong prospective field lining up to face the female champion if she runs, including two Grade 1 winners, and three multiple graded stakes winners. Leading the cast of older male stars are Grade 1 winners Game On Dude and Twirling Candy, most recently seen finishing second and third respectively in the Hollywood Gold Cup (Gr.1) behind now retired First Dude.
 
Game One Dude turned in a :59.20 five furlong bullet in preparation for the Pacific Classic on Tuesday and will enter the race off six straight works, all very strong.
 
Twirling Candy has proven to be somewhat of a disappointment this yea. Sfter capturing the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes in late December and taking the Strub Stakes (gr.2) in early February with ease, many expected the Candy Ride colt to seize control of the Older Male division. After 5th place finishes in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr.1) and a third place finish in the Hollywood Gold Cup, his status is very shaky. He enters off three straight bullet works and appears ready to run the best 1 ¼ mile race of his life.
 
Other possible starters include multiple graded stakes winners Bourbon Bay and Jeranimo as well as Tres Borrachos, Caracortado and Seksuko.


The big question is this -- Can Blind Luck continue to be as devastating against the males as she has proven to be against the filly and mare division for the last two years? With chances that a large field could be entered looking good, I’d say Blind Luck has an excellent shot at winning the Pacific Classic, earning her 6th Grade 1 win, and fourth consecutive graded stakes victory.

Over the years she has shown how talented she is by closing into slow fractions from far back in the pack and running down loose-on-the-lead type frontrunners. She will most likely get a strong pace to close into in the Classic and will have a perfectly tailored 1 ¼ mile journey.
 
If she does enter the Pacific Classic and wins she makes a very strong case for Horse of the Year honors and should be a shoe in for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. If on the other hand she loses all eyes will turn to Havre de Grace in the Woodward. I say may the best horse win in the Pacific Classic and the race for Horse of the Year. And I think that horse is Blind Luck.
 

 

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Older Comments about Luck in the Pacific Classic, or not?...

If HDG wins the wood ward and Blind luck wins the Ladys secret Id say HDG moves at least equal if not higher than B.L
TimSmith - ok, I said that with quite a bit of presumptuousness. I believe that it will take at least one Grade 1 win in addition to a Breeders' Cup win to secure the Horse of the Year title. I believe that Blind Luck, already in an almost tie with Tizway, has the easiest path providing she goes in the Distaff. Tizway would have to win the Jockey Club Gold Cup and the Classic, and Cape Blanco would have to win another Grade 1 race in addition to the BC Turf to be the HOY. HvG would have to win the Woodward and either the Distaff or the Classic. Either way, Blind Luck should cruise on in to her HOY honors. IMO.
New york Vinnie are you serious? Pacific classic, and BCC is the only way to go with B.L.
I think Jerry Hollendorfer can kiss both Eclipse Awards (older female and Horse of the Year) goodbye now. If Havre de Grace wins the Woodward and runs well in the Classic, then Blind Luck has no chance to win the awards. Stupid decision if you ask me. So what if he's planning to run her next year, running against the males isn't going to hurt her long-term chances.
As a fan of the game watching his statements the last few weeks, how snappy and down right rude he was to those interviewing him, i can honestly say I respect Hollendorfer now as much as i respect Jerry Moss and J Sheriffs, which well is very little. This totally takes her out of contention for HOY, 3 losses on her resume and needing a big win to stay pace with others. Put a fork in that.
Brilliant decision by Mr. Hollendorfer. Blind Luck had absolutely nothing to prove by running in this race. She is a champion and is neck and neck with Tizway for HOY for 2011. She definitey doesn't need this race in the middle of the racing year to prove her greatness. With a win in the Lady's Secret and the BC Distaff Blind Luck will be the HOY for 2011.
I truly respect Jerry and it is their choice, but I am highly disappointed. The males are so mediocre and the surface is playing to her style, this was ripe for the taking. I know they have already said they were going Distaff as they plan on running next year, but with the males beating up on each other I feel this was the year to go all out. My initial inclination is shared by others that she may not be 100%, if so then obviously this isn't a choice, but a smart decision. We may never know.
She has NO choice now but to win the Lady's Secret . She would have no excuse if she lost. Then what? The BCL and not facing males? I guess she'll really be returning in 2012 then. ??
Boo Hollendorfer. Blind Luck is the top rated horse in North America why skip this race? Face some weak competition in the Ladys secret. I dont get it.
I am not surprised she will not try this spot, I would have skipped it to. The fact that she is not up here in Saratoga gives me pause as to what is going on. She had sore feet earlier in the year and that may have popped up again but there is something they are seeing that they do not like even though she has been working very well.
Very Sad, I just dont understand this Season and the schedule they have had her on, seriously running races in Jan and Feb, and Grade 2 races at that in an attempt to accomplish what exactly, then time off after the Azeri, now time off before the BC but in training still. I am not sure what happened to this year for this filly or her connections but I am very confused at the developments.
Looks like she is a no go ... too bad.

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 Meet Brian Appleton 

Thoroughbred Horse Racing is my passion.  It started when at the age of 9 I found a book called Come On Seabiscuit by Ralf Moody on my Mother’s shelf.  Reading that book was one of the most exciting things I ever did as a kid. I read that book so many times that I had entire chapters committed to memory and the dust jacket worn and ripped beyond recognition from so much use. From that point on I was hopelessly addicted, reading every book on horse racing I could get my hands on, especially racehorse biographies. In 2009 I began my own blog called Rail Runner on wordpress and have continued to blog there to this day.

Curlin is probably my favorite racehorse of all time. Being able to attend six of his races will always be one of the highlights of my life. Whenever I need to re-find some inspiration in my life all I need to do is watch one of his incredible victories and relive the memories. Rachel Alexandra ranks right up there too. As any horse racing fan will tell you it’s almost impossible to choose just one favorite and I am no exception. Phar Lap and Citation are another two of my all time favorites and the list could go on and on.

I was homeschooled my entire life by my parents and graduated High School in 2006 at the age of 17.  Currently I am completing my Marketing degree with the hopes of entering the Thoroughbred Horse Racing field as a writer/journalist , or in the marketing/advertising/promotions side of the industry.

It is my dream to someday become a thoroughbred racehorse owner and win major races across the United States. Who wouldn't want that, right?  For about 1 ½ years I was part owner in a racehorse, Lord Greystoke raced, and owned by Hibiscus Stables. I was able to attend one of his races at Belmont Park on Kentucky Derby day, May 2, 2009 and it was an incredible experience. While Lord Greystoke finished 7th in the race, being able to stand in an owner’s box not 30 feet away from Penny Chenery’s owner’s box was one of the most amazing feelings in the world.

Later in the year Lord Greystoke was finally able to break through with a 4 ½ length win which made me feel like one of the world’s most accomplished thoroughbred owners and further fueled my appetite. I think it would be rally neat to win the Appleton Stakes (Gr.3) at Gulfstream Park, even though I'm generally a bigger fan of dirt racing I can't help but think it would be neat for me to win a race with the same name as my last name.

That’s me in a nutshell, just a very passionate, driven young guy that wants to be a part of this amazing sport and share the adventure with other fans.