Expert picks: Pacific Classic 2019 predictions, longshots

Expert picks: Pacific Classic 2019 predictions, longshots
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Seeking the Soul has headed west to Del Mar in looking to solidify himself as a top Breeders' Cup Classic contender by way of the Grade 1, $1 million Pacific Classic. The tepid favorite will be up against Quip, who he narrowly beat last time in Churchill Downs' Stephen Foster (G2), as well as California-based Pavel, Campaign and others.

Ahead of post time at 9:43 p.m. ET, with the race to air on TVG, check out selections from the Horse Racing Nation crew for this field of 10 older runners. Also, in forming your own opinion, make sure to check out 
free past performances
. Good luck!

Nick Costa, Trackside with Trackman

Winner: #3 Pavel

On the board: #5 Seeking the Soul, #2 Quip

Longshot I like: #1 War Story

Analysis: Pavel was a distant second to Accelerate in this event last year. Following a much-improved effort in his prior start, a third in the Suburban (G2) at this 1 1/4-mile distance, he now appears to be coming in to the 2019 Pacific Classic in peaking form. Seeking the Soul has finished out of the money just once in the past year while facing some of the best horses in training. Quip possesses tactical speed, which allows him to get good position, and he always shows plenty of fight to the end.

Candice Curtis (@skipaway2000)

Winner: #4 For the Top

On the board: #2 Quip, #10 Draft Pick

Longshot I like: #4 For the Top

Analysis: It's not every day you get a price on a Bob Baffert trainee in a Grade 1 race. There appears to be zero real speed in here, so whoever wants the lead will get it. In For The Top's last race, he went for it. Baffert/Martin Garcia are a historically lethal combo at Del Mar , too. Quip has run solid races on deeper tracks than what he'll get here and is primed for a top effort. I'll use For The Top and Quip on top in exactas and trifectas with a healthy across the board play on both as well.

Jarrod Horak, Pick 6 Blog

Winner: #2 Quip

On the board: #5 Seeking the Soul, #8 Campaign

Longshot I like: #9 Mongolian Groom

Analysis: I am not sure how far Quip wants to travel, but he should be close to tepid fractions, and he still has upside as a 4-year-old. If he is ever going to get a mile and quarter, this is the spot. Seeking the Soul proved once again that he loves Churchill Downs with a neck victory over Quip in the Foster on June 15. He is fresh and should strike from mid-pack under John Velazquez. Campaign might actually run out of ground at this distance. His last two wins were at a mile and a half on dirt, and he will try to get involved late. Mongolian Groom was third in the Big ‘Cap (G1) and second in the San Diego (G2). Draft Pick dueled with Catalina Cruiser and ended up third of four in the San Diego. He was a decent sophomore and might move forward in his third start after a layoff.

Wagers: #2 to win; quinella 2/5-8; trifecta key 2/5-8-9-10

Jonathan Lintner (@JonathanLintner)

Winner: #3 Pavel

On the board: #2 Quip, #5 Seeking the Soul

Longshot I like: #10 Draft Pick

Analysis: The last time Pavel caught what many considered a weak Grade 1 field, he won Churchill Downs' Stephen Foster. Back home in California, he could be set up for a similar sort of performance in the Pacific Classic. At the least, he's a consistent board hitter who you could key underneath. Quip and Draft Pick are both improving 4-year-olds who have bright futures, with the latter a steal at anything close to his 20-1 morning line. Of course, Seeking the Soul will factor. But can he get the job done outside of Churchill Downs?

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