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Pacific Classic Candidates Get In Important Works

Dullahan Keeneland 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

With one week to go before the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic, there was activity from major candidates both at Del Mar and Churchill Downs Sunday morning.

At Del Mar, Byrama and Kettle Corn put in final workouts for anticipated starts in the 23rd running of the signature event of the summer meeting. At Churchill Downs, defending race champion Dullahan worked six furlongs.

Dullahan and fellow Classic candidate Delegation are scheduled to travel from Louisville to Del Mar on the same plane, departing Monday morning and arriving Monday evening on the West Coast.

Byrama, a 4-year-old filly who was third in the Clement L. Hirsch on August 3, is under consideration to become the fourth female starter in Classic history. The English-bred daughter of Byron went five furlongs under exercise rider Loren Robinson in :59.60 seconds and galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.80. Earlier fractions were :24.60 for the first quarter and :47.60 for a half-mile.

“A textbook work,” said Aron Wellman, head of the Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners ownership group. “She’s gotten so professional, so relaxed. She galloped out strong, she really seems to enjoy this track and went really smoothly over it.

“We’re preparing to run. We’ll keep a close eye on her the next couple days. She’s such a tough filly and we know her so well that she’ll tell us what to do.

“If there’s any (negative) indication, we’ll do something else. But right now, she’s clicking on all cylinders.”

Kettle Corn, winner of the San Diego Handicap on July 27, went seven furlongs in 1:26.40 under exercise rider Jose Alvarez. Kettle Corn broke off two lengths behind stablemate Sweet Sunshine in a team drill and made up the difference crossing under the wire. Interim splits were :13.40, :38.00, :50.60 and 1:14.40 with some cautionary slowing on the gallop out as the warning sirens went off due to a loose horse on the track.

“A very nice work, everything’s go,” trainer John Sadler said. Sadler’s other Pacific Classic candidate, You Know I Know, is scheduled to breeze on Monday as is Bob Baffert-trained Game On Dude.

Dullahan went five furlongs breezing at Churchill Downs in :59.80, the second-best of 17 timed at the distance. In 2012, eight days before the Pacific Classic, Dullahan worked five furlongs at Churchill Downs in 1:00.40, the best of 18 at the distance that day.



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