Sadler has two shots for a repeat in Del Mar's Pacific Classic

Del Mar Stable Notes
August 15, 2019 05:42pm
Sadler has two shots for a repeat in Del Mar's Pacific Classic
Photo: Benoit

If it’s an odd-numbered year, then count on John Sadler to have an even number of starters in the TVG Pacific Classic (G1).

Such was the case in 2013 when Sadler saddled Kettle Corn and You Know I Know to finish second and third behind runaway winner Game On Dude in the $1 million signature event of the Del Mar summer meeting.

And again in 2015 when Hard Aces and Class Leader, who came in sixth and seventh, respectively, behind Beholder.

And yet again in 2017 when Accelerate placed third and Hard Aces fifth to Collected.

Last year, Sadler needed only Accelerate to notch his first Pacific Classic victory from 12 starters, and it came by a thoroughly convincing, romping 12-1/2 lengths over the 1 1/4-mile distance.

Now it’s 2019, and Sadler has reverted to recent form. He’ll saddle Higher Power (8-1) and Campaign (6-1) on Saturday with the aim of making it back-to-back Classic wins. If Higher Power does the trick, it will also be two in a row for his major client, Hronis Racing.

Both horses prepped for the Classic during the first six days of the meeting. Higher Power, a 4-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro, finished second in the Wickerr, a one mile turf race. Campaign won the 1 ½-mile Cougar II Handicap (G3) on the main track.

“Campaign has had a win over the track, which I think is important,” Sadler said. “Higher Power we think is improving and it’s kind of a ‘gut’ call to put him in there. Fingers crossed, we’re looking forward to getting them going.”

Campaign, a 4-year-old son of Curlin owned by Woodford Racing, has five wins in 10 starts and earnings of $394,753. Two of his three wins in 2019 were at 1 1/2-miles,  so the distance is not a question. Higher Power has four wins in 12 starts with earnings of $200,648. Coming off two turf mile races, he’s likely to show speed and be part of the early pace picture.

Higher Power drew the No. 6 post and will have meet-leading rider Flavien Prat up. Campaign will break from No. 8 under Rafael Bejarano, who has been aboard for his last four races in Southern California.

“The posts are fine, no problems,” Sadler said.  “Posts shouldn’t really be a factor in this race – a mile and a quarter with a good, long run to the turn. There’s plenty of opportunity for everyone to get settled.”

The Pacific Classic goes as the 10
th on an 11-race program with a scheduled 6:35 p.m. PT post time.

2019 Pacific Classic (G1)


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