A pair of ‘Win and You’re In’ Breeders’ Cup qualifying races top the Saturday card at Del Mar led by the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic. The Grade 1 race does not have the star appeal of more recent editions, but the winner will still earn an automatic fees-paid entry to the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 6 at Del Mar for the World Championships.
The 1 1/4 mile TVG Pacific Classic drew nine entries and is Race 10 on Aug. 21 with post time at 9:30 p.m. ET and 6:30 p.m local Pacific. The race is not on national television, but you can stream online and watch and wager on all the races live on TVG.
Saturday at Del Mar’s seaside track will also feature the $300,000 Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on the turf in Race 9. Then following the TVG Pacific Classic in Race 10, another ‘Win and You’re In’ qualifier in Race 11 is the $300,000 Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap for mostly older horses at 1 3/8 miles on the turf. The winner will earn a spot in the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Nov. 6 at Del Mar.
Profile of a Winner
The horse racing analysts and team at Horse Racing Radar chipped-in some profiles on TVG Pacific Classic winners. Using Equibase Speed Figures:
- Ten of the past 11 produced an ESF of at least 100 in the two races prior to the Pacific Classic. And eight of the 11 accomplished the feat in the three races leading into the Classic. (Horses that qualify last 3 races: Express Train, Tizamagician, Royal Ship and Tripoli (last 2).
- Seven of the last 11 to win the Pacific Classic won in their start before the Pacific Classic, and two others finished second.
- Each of the past 11 Pacific Classic champs needed a mark of 110 or more to run into the winners’ circle.
Handicapper Chris O’Rorke added, “The post-time favorite has won six of the last eight Pacific Classic’s and hit the board in 9-of-11.”
That includes some or horse racing’s recent greats who have won the Pacific Classic during their Hall of Fame careers – Beholder (2015) and California Chrome (2016).
TVG Pacific Classic Leading Contenders
Royal Ship has hit at least 110 speed figure in two graded stakes starts this year when finishing 1st and 2nd at Santa Anita.
Express Train finished 3rd in a Grade 2 race at Oaklawn this spring with his best-ever 111 speed figure. He’s posted triple digit speed figures in nine straight graded stakes starts and won his last race five weeks ago finishing in front of Tripoli and Royal Ship going a much shorted 1 1/16 mile distance. However, in March Express Train finished a close 2nd at this same 1 1/4 mile distance and in front of Independence Hall and Tizamagician.
Independence Hall has not raced since April and has a pair of 3rd place finishes this year including his best speed figure of 110 in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup. He won his only start at Del Mar last November, and finished behind Express Train and just in front of Tizamagician in March.
Tripoli is the most improving horse and tearing up the track in his morning workouts. He won a pair of races this year with a best 109 speed figure, and his last start he finished a hard-charging close second behind Express Train at this same 1 1/4 mile distance.
TVG Pacific Classic Picks
The Horse Racing Nation team and its Super Screener product analyzes key stakes races each weekend. They provide detailed analysis with picks and betting recommendations using a robust, time-test research methodology. A powerful set of guidelines and predictive factors help determine top win contenders and undervalued horses capable of cashing in.
Top win contenders
- Royal Ship (7/2)
- Tripoli (5/1) – value
When considering other challengers to include in win-place-show betting along with vertical and horizontal wagers, these horses can also cash-in for Del Mar bettors, Off-the-pace runners Express Train (3/1) and Dr Post (4/1) along with longshot Magic On Tap (20/1)
The TVG Pacific Classic has some moderate payoff potential with no clear favorite or proven dominant runner in this year’s 31st edition of Del Mar’s top race. But it’s worth wagering and watching on the beautiful seaside track’s biggest day of summer racing ahead of the Nov. 5-6 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar.
You can bet on it.