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Early Pacific Classic Watch

Preliminary preparations for the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic on Sunday, August 24, went well for several candidates during the week. For some, Saturday’s $200,000, Grade II San Diego Handicap will be the final pre-Classic test it is perfectly suited to be. A rundown:

Game On Dude – The defending race champion worked 4 furlongs in :47.60 under Martin  Garcia on Saturday.

Majestic Harbor – The  Gold Cup winner had his first work since that race, going  four furlongs in :50.00 under Tyler Baze. “Just an easy half,” trainer Sean McCarthy said. “He seems happy, he seems content so, fingers crossed, we’re pointing for the Classic.”

Clubhouse Ride – Worked five furlongs in :59.60 on Friday, second-fastest of  54 works at the distance. “He looked better than a million bucks, he looked like $1.3 million,” said trainer Craig Lewis, citing the Gold Cup runner-up’s career earnings. The Pacific Classic and the Whitney at Saratoga are primary targets for the 6-year-old’s next start. “More probably than not, we’ll run here,” Lewis said.

Dance With Fate – The Blue Grass Stakes winning 3-year-old worked five furlongs in :58.40 on Saturday for trainer Peter Eurton, fastest of 90 at the distance. “Loved the work, loved the way he did it,” Eurton said.  “If everything goes well, we’ll see you next Saturday (in the San Diego).”

Frac Daddy – The Ken McPeek trainee, in the care of Blake Heap at Del Mar, is scheduled to work five furlongs under Joe Talamo at 6:30 Monday morning in a final exercise for the San Diego. A sufficient San Diego result would project to a Pacific Classic start.

Shared Belief – Worked 4 furlongs in :52.80 on Wednesday, slowest of 13 at the distance at Golden Gate Fields where the Eclipse 2-year-old champion and recent Los Alamitos Derby winner will do the majority of his training leading up to the Classic.

Seventeen horses were nominated for the San Diego. Close of entries and post position draw is Wednesday.


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