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Dullahan Spoils Pacific Classic Party

Dullahan wins the Pacific Classic

There was no victory in the Pacific Classic for either side of the Richard's Kid fiasco, as east coast invader Dullahan spoiled the party in track-record time.  Dullahan, with Joel Rosario up, rolled late down the center of the track to defeat Game on Dude and jockey Chantal Sutherland by a half length, stopping the clock in 1:59.54.  Sutherland dropped the left rein with a sixteenth of a mile to go, causing Game on Dude to drift out and end up traveling 15 feet further than Dullahan according to Trakus.  Richard's Kid got a less than ideal trip and finished third, with Rail Trip rounding out the superfecta. Following Rail Trip across the line were Suggestive Boy, the filly Amani, Jaycito, Where's Sterling, Akkadian, and Riveting Reason.

 

Dullahan, a three-year-old son of Even the Score, owned by the Donegal Stable and trained by Dale Romans completed the mile and one-quarter distance of the Del mar synthetic surface in 1:59.54, shattering the previous track record set by Acclamation in last year's edition of the million dollar race by more than a full second.

 

After the race, Jerry Crawford of the Donegal Racing partnership said that both the Pacific Classic and the 2013 Dubai World Cup have been in the gameplan for Dullahan for quite some time, which makes sense given the 3-year-old colt's affinity for synthetic surfaces.  Crawford would not commit to running in the Breeders' Cup Classic even though he is a Breeders' Cup chairman, stating that they will give the horse a couple of weeks and see what's best for him.  He also credited Dale Romans' training job with Dullahan's success and soundness, and paid respect to Bob Baffert, trainer of Game on Dude.

 

Leandro Mora, current trainer of Richard's Kid in Doug O'Neill's absence, was visibly upset about Espinoza's ride.  Mora's key instruction was for Espinoza to keep Richard's Kid off the rail, but he inside the whole way around and they got into some traffic trouble. 

 

However, I'm not convinced that either a better trip for Richard's Kid or both reins in Sutherland's hands would have allowed the second or third place finishers to beat Dullahan, who got a perfect ride and was moving like a freight train coming down the stretch.  It was a thrilling finale to a great Pacific Classic Day.

 

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Older Comments about Dullahan Spoils Pacific Classic Party...

deep closers do not win the BELMONT STAKES. It is a fact. Dullahan is a fine horse, not to be overrated (as he ran recent;y on a fast track) and not to be underrated (saying he cannot handle dirt).
ILuvTurfRacing, I am personally of the opinion that the added distance of the BC Turf won't be a problem for Dullahan. Throw out his Belmont effort on account of his dislike for the dirt. From what I've seen, Dullahan appears to be one that relishes distance. Go back to his early races; he didn't break his maiden until the distance was extended to 8.5 furlongs, and he's run well going routes ever since (again, if you throw out the Belmont and the Haskell on account of his dislike for dirt).
I think Brian Zipse is spot on in saying that Dullahan would be better suited in the BC Turf than he will be in the BC Classic. He's obviously a synthetic surface specialist, because all 3 of his G1 wins have come at racetracks where the main surface is poly-trak. The G1 Breeders Futurity and G1 Bluegrass Stakes at Keenland and the G1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar. Everyone knows that horses who run well on synthetic surfaces almost always run well on turf, too, and vice versa. Really good turf horses generally run well on synthetics. I'm not sure if the step up from 10f to 12f from the BC Classic distance to the BC Turf distance will be beneficial for Dullahan or not? But If he runs on the conventional dirt in the BC Classic in November, I definitely see Game On Dude squaring the ledger with him. JMO.
Chantal knew she should've been out front. My two picks this weekend lost their races in the run up. Nonios didn't take to the track and was hopping around the first turn like a rabbit. GOD was crossed by the outside horse and had to check and break slow to avoid hitting him, knocking him pretty much out of the lead and giving him a clear disadvantage. Had Jerry Hollendorfer kept Nonios at Saratoga and galloped him over the surface and got him used to it I think Alpha would've been toast, but Saratoga is a deep track and that isn't what they have in CA.
Chantal got too agressive and blew it a bit... I think GOD lost the race 35-50 seconds into the race,,,, Id run dullahan in the classic...
Wow. No bad ride by Chantal, just bad luck and Dullahan's other prime surface.
Nice win over Older horses, including Dude, Rail Trip and some others. BC Turf hopefully will be his next target.
I'm glad Dully won, even though I like Game On Dude. I felt Chantel took him out too early..
AfterHours, I think they thought the 3rd in the Derby showed he could run on dirt and that the Belmont was just a bad trip on sandy soil. The Haskell was needed to prove to the group that dit in general is now a bad idea.
BSF of 111 for Dullahan.
Great performance by Dullahan. I felt that Dude was vulnerable in this contentious field.
Nearly every trainer of a top 3-YO prospect has to try their charge on dirt at some point simply because the biggest races for 3-YOs are on the dirt. With that being said, I was thrilled to not only see Dullahan given another shot on his preferred surface but also that he shipped so well and won against a field full of excellent older males. I'd like to see Dullahan in the Breeders' Cup, but I don't think the Classic is for him. He will definitely enjoy one of the turf races more.
I knew he would blow them away today. Like I've been saying since January, Dullahan has been one of my favorite 3 y/o's this year and I'm glad he got to redeem himself in the PC and on synthetic. I'm not sure why they kept trying him on dirt, it is clearly not his surface but he ran beautifully today!

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