Hollywood Gold Cup winner Awesome Gem, Cougar II Handicap victor Temple
City and the undefeated 3-year-old, Twirling Candy, worked impressively this
morning in what could be their final tune-ups for the Grade I, $1-million
Pacific Classic Presented by TVG to be run Saturday, August 28.
Awesome Gem, with regular rider David Flores up, traveled 7 furlongs in
1:27.20 for trainer Craig Dollase. The 7-year-old gelded son of Awesome Again
started a bit slow, but finished the final quarter-mile in a sharp 23.20
seconds. The splits show these times: 25 seconds for the first quarter, 37.80,
51.0 [corrected], 1:04.
Awesome Gem left the 7-furlong marker and was joined
at the half-mile pole by stablemate Just Say It, who started about five lengths
in front of Awesome Gem. According to Del
Mar clocker John Malone, Awesome Gem was much the best in the late going,
finishing about four lengths ahead of his workmate.
Dollase said he was very pleased with the work. "He got around the
track well, and he finished great," the trainer said.
Trainer Carla Gaines expressed happiness with Temple City's bullet 59.80 for 5 furlongs.
Gaines said the 5-year-old started behind a pair of workmates -- Call the River
and Message to Michael -- and went on to blaze past them and finish well.
"I think he worked really well, and galloped out very strong," the
Twirling Candy, winner of the Oceanside Stakes on Wednesday, July 21,
covered 7 furlongs in 1:25, the best of four at the distance. Twirling Candy is
nominated to the Pacific Classic, but trainer John Sadler has said that the
3-year-old is more likely to run in the Grade II Del Mar Derby Sunday,
Others nominated to the Pacific Classic, whose winner gets an automatic
bid to the Breeders' Cup Classic as a "Win and You're In" race:
Battle of Hastings, Champ Pegasus, Coolcullen Times, Crowded House, Dakota
Phone, Enriched, Hold Me Back, Isle of Giant's, Richard's Kid (the 2009 winner),
Sangaree, The Usual Q.T., Unusual Suspect and Worth Repeating.
Champ Pegasus, Coolcullen Times and Worth Repeating are nominated also
to the Del Mar Handicap and likely will run there, and Enriched is nominated to
the Del Mar Mile and probably will run there.