Eclipse Award-winning filly Blind
Luck worked six furlongs in 1:13 2/5 Wednesday morning at Del Mar and trainer
Jerry Hollendorfer reiterated that taking on males in the 1 ¼-mile, $1
million Pacific Classic remains under strong consideration for her next
Hollendorfer has stated previously
that the 1 ¼-mile, $300,000 Personal Ensign at Saratoga will also be given
consideration. Wednesday morning he said that Blind Luck will be nominated for
both those races and also the $250,000, 1 1/16-mile Molly Pitcher at Monmouth
Park. All three races are on Sunday, August 28.
Hollendorfer termed Wednesday’s
workout by Blind Luck, done solo under regular exercise rider Marco Ramirez,
“nice and steady.” Clockers termed it a “nice maintenance work.”
In addition to Blind Luck, Pacific
Classic candidates Setsuko and Acclamation also put in morning workouts
Setsuko, trained by Richard Mandella
worked in company with Taxi Ride and was timed in 1:14.00 for six furlongs.
Setsuko has only one win in 15 starts and comes off a disappointing third as
the 3-2 favorite in the Cougar II Handicap on July 29. But Hall of Famer
Mandella hasn’t lost faith in Setsuko, a 4-year-old son of his 2004 Pacific
Classic winner Pleasantly Perfect, who has three in-the-money finishes in his
last four starts, all at the graded stakes level.
“We were disappointed in the (Cougar
II) race, but he came out of it well and unless we change our mind, he’s going
in the Classic,” Mandella said before the work.
Mandella has three wins and five additional
in-the-money results from 13 Pacific Classic starters. The wins, in addition to
Pleasantly Perfect, came from Dare and Go in 1996, an upset of Cigar that ranks
among the greatest in racing history, and Gentlemen in 1997.
“It’s been a good race for me,”
Acclamation, winner of the Eddie
Read Stakes on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course on July 23, went seven furlongs in
1 :28 4/5 seconds with jockey Patrick Valenzuela aboard. Clockers noted
that Acclamation handled the Polytrack well, but the time was slower than
trainer Don Warren and owner Bud Johnston would have preferred.
“Maybe, but I don’t know yet,”
Warren said of a Pacific Classic start. “We’ll nominate him and work him again
four or five days before the race.”
CLASSIC PART II, ACHAK
Trainer Doug O’Neill is preparing to
run Achak, a $40,000 claim out of Saturday’s seventh race by Mark Verge’s
Westside Rentals.com stable, in the Pacific Classic.
Achak, a 5-year-old Irish-bred
gelding, was acquired from trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and partners from a
half-length victory under Joe Talamo in the 1 1/16-mile race on Saturday.
Achak has nine wins in 31 career starts and earnings of $261,253.
“He just won here, he likes the
track and he’s 6-for-11 on synthetic tracks,” O’Neill noted. “It’s very
ambitious, but we talked before the race that if he won – beating the likes of
Jaycito and a couple other nice horses in there – we would run in the Pacific
“Mark Verge likes to take chances
with his horses as long as they are sound and doing good. So as long as
he continues to do well, we’re going to pitch him in the deep end and see if he
can swim with the big boys.
“I don’t think distance will be a
problem. The big question will be if he’s good enough.”
CLASSIC PART III, JERANIMO
Mike Pender smiled and nodded at the
whinny and burst of activity coming from the stall in barn MM that interrupted
“That’s Jeranimo,” Pender said.
“Barring anything unforeseen it (Pacific Classic) is a go. He’s primed and ready
for a top effort.”
The 5-year-old son of Congaree,
second to Acclamation in the Eddie Read Stakes, has made his last seven starts
on turf, but has notched three of his five career wins on synthetics, the most
notable being the 2010 Strub Stakes at Santa Anita.
“He’s never run on Polytrack here,
but will out-gallop any horse on the racetrack over the stuff,” Pender said.
“He’s given every indication he’ll like it.”
Jeranimo has been on an
every-seventh-day work pattern -- with the exception the morning after
the Eddie Read -- with the most recent being 6 furlongs in 1:12.40 on Sunday.