We read through the press kit for today’s 23rd running of
the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic (to save you the time and bother, no
thanks necessary) and came up with the following. In post position
If Endorsement wins: Hector Palma, 76, would become
the oldest trainer to win the Pacific Classic replacing Ron McAnally,
who was 71 when he saddled Candy Ride to victory in 2003 … Would be a
first Pacific Classic win for jockey Julien Leparoux, whose previous
best in three starts was coming up a neck short on Einstein in 2009.
If Holding Glory wins: He would become the first
Brazilian-bred to win the race and the third of South American birth.
Gentlemen (1997) and Candy Ride (2003) hailed from Argentina … It would
salve some frustration for jockey Chantal Sutherland-Kruse, who has been
second and fourth the last two years on Game On Dude, and make her the
second female to win the race behind Julie Krone.
If Farraaj wins: It would be a first Pacific Classic
victory for the Maktoums, ruling family of Dubai. Farraaj is owned by
Sheikh Ahmed al Maktoum, the son of Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed bin
Rashid al Maktoum. Sheik Mohammed’s Anshan finished seventh of eight in
the inaugural Pacific Classic in 1991 … It would be a fifth Pacific
Classic victory for Garrett Gomez, whose previous wins on Skimming
(2000-2001), Borrego (2005) and Go Between (2008) are the most of any
If You Know I Know wins: It would be a first
Pacific Classic victory, in his fourth try, for trainer John Sadler
whose previous best was a second with Twirling Candy to Acclamation in
2011 … Would represent a new career high point, in his first Pacific
Classic experience, for jockey Edwin Maldonado, whose stock has been
steadily on the rise in Southern California for the past 18 months.
If Richard’s Kid wins: He would become the first
three-time winner of the Pacific Classic (previously 2009-2010) and will
have done it for three different owners …Would provide trainer Doug
O’Neill with a second Pacific Classic victory to go with Lava Man in
If Kettle Corn wins: He would join Skimming as the
only horses to complete a San Diego Handicap-Pacific Classic double.
Skimming did it twice, using San Diego Handicap victories as a
springboard to Pacific Classic wins in 2000 and 2001 … Would end a long
quest for a Pacific Classic win for jockey Victor Espinoza, who has a
third aboard Richard’s Kid in 2012 as the best result from 12 previous
If Byrama wins: Following in the hoofprints of Paseana (5th, 1992), Island Fashion (9th 2005) and Amani (6th
2012), she is the fourth female to seek success in the race … It would
make trainer Simon Callaghan the sixth trainer to score with his first
starter, joining Gary Jones (Best Pal, 1991), Robert Frankel (Missionary
Ridge, 1992), C. Beau Greeley (Borrego, 2005), Don Warren (Acclamation,
2011) and Dale Romans (2012) … Would provide Gary Stevens with a third
Pacific Classic victory, 16 years after his last (Gentlemen, 1997).
If Dullahan wins: He would become the fourth to
prevail in consecutive years, joining Tinners Way (1994-95), Skimming
(2000-01) and Richard’s Kid (2009-10) … Would move trainer Dale Romans
up to a tie for fourth for Pacific Classic victories behind Robert
Frankel (6), Bob Baffert (3) and Richard Mandella (3). Romans would be
the first to go 2-for-2 with the same, single-horse representative …
If Delegation wins: Would represent an oh, Canada,
successful invasion with wins in first Pacific Classic (and Del Mar)
experiences for trainer Mark Casse and Delegation. There is Del Mar in
Delegation’s pedigree, however. Dam Cindy’s Hero won the 2000 Del Mar
Debutante for trainer David Hofmans and Delegation’s breeders, Tom and
Elizabeth Baxter … Second Pacific Classic mount for jockey Luis
Contreras, who finished seventh on Don Cavallo in 2011.
If Game On Dude wins: It would make him the second
horse, following Lava Man in 2006 to win the “California Triple Crown” –
Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup, Pacific Classic – in a single
year … Would provide trainer Bob Baffert with a fourth Pacific Classic,
breaking a tie with Richard Mandella behind Robert Frankel’s six… Would
get jockey Martin Garcia, a late replacement for injured Joel Rosario,
into the Classic win column in his third try.
If Jeranimo wins: It would duplicate the Eddie
Read-Pacific Classic, turf-to-Polytrack double of Acclamation in 2011
and vindicate Jeranimo’s second in the Eddie Read and eighth in the
Pacific Classic behind Acclamation that year … Would provide trainer
Mike Pender with a first Pacific Classic win in his second attempt and
jockey Corey Nakatani a second win in his 15th try.
If Blueskiesnrainbows wins: He would become the
first Virginia-bred to win the Classic and provide Hall of Fame trainer
Jerry Hollendorfer an initial victory with his third starter. Previous
best was a third by Dakota Phone behind Richard’s Kid in 2010 … Third
mount for jockey Martin Pedroza who has 10th and 8th-place finishes in 2002 and 2011.
Experts Say ‘Dude’ More Often Than A California Teenager
A sampling of TVG Pacific Classic selections from an eclectic group
of “experts” randomly chosen based mainly on availability and
willingness. (A retrospective and warning: A similarly chosen group,
containing many of today’s participants, went 0-for-25 in 2012,
completely overlooking Dullahan).
Ed Zieralski, UT-San Diego – Kettle Corn. “Speed duel sets it up nicely for Kettle to pop.”
Jeff Nahill, UT-San Diego – Dullahan. “Too much speed sets up the closer.”
Jay Privman, Daily Racing Form – Farraaj. “I want a horse nobody else is picking.”
Steve Andersen, Daily Racing Form – Dullahan. “Rounding back into form.”
Kevin Modesti, L.A. Daily news – Game On Dude. “Delegation and Kettle
Corn are ‘now’ horses, but Game On Dude looks good as always.
Bill Dwyre, L.A. Times – Game On Dude. “Then the fun begins seeing who Baffert rides in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Bob Ike, syndicated handicapper – Game On Dude. “Doesn’t matter who’s riding.”
Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup President and CEO – Game On Dude.. He’s an old guy .. I’m an old guy.”
Joe Harper, Del Mar President and CEO – Game On Dude. “With all the
drama, and after being there for the big announcement at Donuts at Del
Mar, I’ve got to go with him.”
Josh Rubinstein, Executive Vice President, COO, DMTC – Game On Dude.
“I usually don’t go with chalk, but I’m going to this time.”
Hank Goldberg, ESPN commentator – Kettle Corn. “I think there is
enough other speed to bother Game On Dude and Kettle Corn looks good
enough to come from behind and get it.”
Barry Abrams, trainer – Dullahan. “Because he won it last year.”
Madeline Auerbach, owner -- Game On Dude. “Because Arnold (Zetcher) let them take the rider.”
Toby Turrell, clocker – Delegation. “He could not look any better on the track since shipping in.”
John Malone, clocker – Delegation. “I’m on the same page as Toby.”
Richard Mandella, Hall of Fame trainer – Game On Dude. “He wins a lot.”
Gary Mandella, trainer – Delegation. “The truest synthetic horse in the race.”
Larry Zap, bloodstock agent – Game On Dude. “It’s his year.”
John O’Hara, trainer – Game On Dude. “He’s a warrior, and I don’t want to see those East Coast horses beat him.”
Don Warren, trainer – Dullahan. “Horse for the course.”