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Stately Victor to Contest Pacific Classic

Stately Victor upsets the 2010 Blue Grass

Stately Victor, winner of the 2010 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland,  is the first confirmed out-of-state shipper for the $1 million Pacific Classic on August 28.

Trained by Mike Maker and owned by Tom and Jack Conway, Stately Victor is scheduled to travel from Churchill Downs to Del Mar on Sunday, be stabled in the barn of Ron Ellis and train up to the signature race of the meeting, Maker said Thursday morning by phone from Louisville.  Mike Smith, winning rider of the last two Pacific Classics with Richard’s Kid,  has the mount.

Stately Victor, a 4-year-old Ghostzapper colt out of the Dynaformer mare Collect the Cash, has a career record of three wins and five additional on-the-board finishes in 19 starts with earnings of $677,226. Most of that ($586,549) came in a 3-year-old campaign highlighted by a 4 ¼-length win at odds of 40-1 in the Kentucky Derby-prep Blue Grass, three weeks before the Run For The Roses.

It was a dream scenario for the owners. Tom Conway is a Louisville attorney and his son Jack is Kentucky’s Attorney General.

Ridden by Alan Garcia, Stately Victor followed the Blue Grass with an eighth place finish in the Kentucky Derby and a seventh, moved up one via disqualification, in the Belmont Stakes.

Stately Victor’s other victory in 2010 came in the Ontario Derby at Woodbine which, like Keeneland and Del Mar, has a Polytrack main surface.  In 2011, Stately Victor is winless in four starts but showed improvement when switched from turf to synthetic for his last assignment, a third-place finish in the Dominion Day, a Grade III stakes at Woodbine on  July 11.

“We’d been thinking about it (Pacific Classic) for awhile and it was a mutual decision with the owners, made on June 27,  to go ahead,” said Maker, who will be coming to Del Mar for the first time. “His last race was a good effort, but unfortunately he had to give a bit of weight.”

Winner Don Cavallo carried 117 pounds and runner-up James Street 118 to Stately Victor’s 126.

Stately Victor joins a list of confirmed Pacific Classic-pointed horses that includes Caracortado, Game On Dude and Twirling Candy and possibles to include the Eclipse Award-winning filly Blind Luck and San Diego Handicap  winner Tres Borrachos.



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