July 19, 2015
Just about every kind of horse has won in the Grade I Pacific Classic over the years and on Saturday afternoon, going ten-furlongs where the turf meets the surf, one of ten older colts and geldings will add their name to a list that is about as prestigious as it gets. Five of its first seven winners also took down the BC Classic, as Little Slick, Icicle, Barbarino, Obvious Intention and Madhouse each proved best over the DMR dirt before annexing the biggest race of them all, while in 2011, a mare beat the boys as Poolside Ec took down the win, defeating the aforementioned Madhouse in the process. Recent years have not been as kind to BC entrants with defending champion Nile Warrior coming home second-best but since he recently raced in the Grade I Whitney, it will be up to a new batch of classic runners to make their mark on a race steeped in history, and almost guaranteed to produce a big effort come KEE that first weekend in November.
1-Outward Bound (Five-year-old chestnut horse / Owner-Eastern Equine)
Outward Bound has been a top three placegetter in his last nine starts with four wins including the Grade II OP Handicap but he runs into the same horse who beat him as the favourite last time out in the Grade II Suburban and the hope is that a return to California will help his chances, as well as an inside draw. Speed on the rail can be deadly at DMR and he knows how to get out there and press the fractions and with workouts over the track, he should be primed and ready to go but one to steer clear of if the price is too short.
Analysis-Inside speed will be his best asset
2-Hyper Silver (Six-year-old bay gelding / Owner-Night Rider Stables)
Hyper Silver became a millionaire at HRP with his score in the Suburban but he has to tote an extra seven-pounds under the conditions of this race and on even footing, has to rank a longer shot than some despite some excellent efforts as of late. A fast main track will ensure that he drops back and makes a final run down the lane and ten-furlongs seems to be his best distance for that run, with the likelihood of inside speed setting things up for him to at least make a run for a minor award.
Analysis-Stepped up at BEL last time but has to carry more weight now
3-No Trippin (Eight-year-old bay gelding / Owner-Mb Stables)
Horses at HRP this year seem to be defying the age barrier left, right and center and No Trippin is a prime example; at the age of eight, he has five wins and a second in six starts and comes into the Pacific Classic off wins in the PIM Special and the SA Gold Cup, the last with a career-best speed figure. His regular jockey returns, he has a five-furlong workout that was blazing over the course and he comes from a barn that has already won this race so there is much to like as the records keep falling and the horses keep getting better and better.
Analysis-Has looked amazing since returning to California
4-George Washington (Five-year-old gray gelding / Owner-Spankys Barn)
A Grade III winner in the slop earlier this year, George Washington has been second-best to some very good horses in both the Brooklyn and the Suburban at BEL but those added distance races might set him up for a big effort here and another middle post will help him stalk and pounce. He has to carry more weight and that might pose a minor problem but the better turns at DMR will help him slingshot into contention and there is much to like about this five-year-old, despite a record that suggests taking him for the victory might be tough.
Analysis-Could close for a minor share
5-Broomsticks Camelot (Five-year-old gray gelding / Owner-Canadian Racing)
Broomsticks Camelot improves greatly from starter allowance into the Grade II ranks and came away with a win in the Eclipse at WO but this is a much bigger field and much tougher as well so putting him on top was not an option with the hope that he can continue to show the same stamina he did going ten-furlongs. Three starts back, he went wire-to-wire at this distance at FG but that only earned a modest speed figure and on paper, he has to quicken his strides at every call if he hopes to hold off proven Grade I commodities in the stretch.
Analysis-Excellent last time out but needs to show more at this class
6-Suns Out Guns Out (Five-year-old bay gelding / Owner-Mb Stables)
Privately purchased for $100.000 after a series of even efforts, Suns Out Guns Out has really turned things around for his new connections and off a Grade III win and a solid second in the Grade II San Diego, he looks to step up in the Pacific Classic and continue his improving season. His preparations have been solid and we know he likes the track so look for that continued momentum at this longer distance, especially since the winner last time out is not here to spoil his party again.
Analysis-Likes the track and should get a nice outside run
7-Phelps (Four-year-old bay gelding / Owner-Mb Stables)
Second in the Eclipse behind a fellow entrant in this race, Phelps rebounded nicely with a solid win in the Hanshin Cup at AP and looks to build up his credentials to the highest level while aiming for a 16th straight top two finish. Having moved steadily up to this level, it seems as good as time as any to test the biggest waters possible and with pedigree on his side, and six-furlong workouts to show for it, he has to rank as one of the race favourites if he can handle that extra furlong as well as we hope.
Analysis-Distance might be the only question mark
9-Graceful Shadow (Six-year-old black gelding / Owner-Aer Stables)
Graceful Shadow has seemingly found a calling for 1 ½ mile races on the main track and with very few opponents, he has been able to put together a solid enough career including wins in the Grade II Marathon at SA and recently, the Grade II Brooklyn at BEL. Now, he cuts back slightly in search of his first Grade I triumph and while he will be able to handle the distance, he does not seem fast enough in his races to contend with the best of the Classic division.
Analysis-Good but might not be good enough in this spot
10-Masquerade City (Six-year-old gray gelding / Owner-Mb Stables)
Owner Mb Stables is loaded in the Pacific Classic with three top contenders drawn to the outside and with Masquerade City, you get a solid enough runner who has not been able to close things out in the final furlong of his last three races, finishing a length back of the winner each time. He will be used hard to get to the front end once again and with the outside draw, that might expend too much of his energy and the only big chance he has is to save some ground into the first turn, which might be enough for a minor award.
Analysis-Has not been able to get the job done at this level before
Despite not winning in his last two starts, Outward Bound has enough upside potential over the ten-furlong distance of the Grade I Pacific Classic to be my favourite from the inside rail, although horses to the far outside will make things interesting early and set him up for a big run down the lane. Phelps is the horse on the improve for top connections and should appreciate closing into what should be a quick pace while No Trippin is the old veteran of the field and will be looking to do what Mister Major did in the Whitney at SAR, and that is upset the younger bucks at their own game.
Win-Outward Bound (5/2)
Show-No Trippin (7/2)
Triple T Racing 🙂
Categories: Grade I