Pacific Classic Boasts an Incredible Field

Pacific Classic (Grade 1) (BC)- $1,000.000 Purse
DMR- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Quarter on the Dirt
August 17, 2019

The virtual racing world brings its attention to DMR this weekend as some of the best horses in the entire game will be running in the highly coveted Pacific Classic. This grade 1 event provides an automatic spot in the BC Classic for its winner, and a nice $1,000.000 purse to go along with it. There is also plenty of prestige in being able to say that you were a winner of this great race. Many of the top trainers in the game have won the race, but only two have won it twice, that being Mb Stables and Maxmillion Farm. Each will have a good chance this year to make it three, including Maxmillion sending the winner of last year’s race, Combat Wombat, back to action again here. We’ll also have the PRK winner, the Pegasus World Cup winner and the Queens Plate winner, and many more. Let’s take a look at these amazing horses for the 16th edition of this Pacific Classic! Enjoy the race!

#1- Scarlet Ninja (Fractious, ridden by J J Castellano)- Things seemed to be going fairly well for this horse heading into the Haskell last month. So when he finished tenth there, it seemed as though it could just be attributed to his inconsistency. Prior trainer Joshua Stables had enough of it, and sold him for just $10.000 to Fractious a couple weeks ago. That was probably part of deeper trade between the stables for that to have been the sale price. The inconsistency of this horse makes him hard to pick, but when he is on, he can be as good as anyone here.

#2- State Police (Smokey Stover, ridden by D E Centeno)- The five year old Cherokee Sunset horse is held in high regard throughout the game, and it will be good to see him back on the track after a layoff that was approaching ninety days. Back in January, he won the Pegasus World Cup, and that remains as the only win of his 2019, but there have only been four starts. He has been within a length in every race this year, and continues to produce strong SRF’s. He’s always a good bet to make, but the rest he comes into the race with makes him more appealing.

#3- Devilish Details (Mb Stables, ridden by M Franco)- There are several three year olds in this field, and they will be enjoying a four pound weight advantage over their elders. Mb Stables starts three in this race, and they are all three years old, and that speaks volumes about the advantage that weight currently has. Don’t want to put too much of a shadow on the actual horses, though. Devilish Details has been successful on the grass, with five wins in nine starts, but is winless on the main track. That almost changed in the IND Derby, in his last start.

#4- Combat Wombat (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by R Bejarano)- Last year, Combat Wombat, at three years of age, picked up the victory here in the Pacific Classic. In the BC Classic, he ended up finishing second to Splash Mountain, who went on to win the Grade 1 Whitney at SAR two weeks ago. He has only raced three times this year, and amazingly still only has nine career starts. In those races this year, his only victory came in the CT Classic, closing strong on the bullring to get the win. This will interestingly be the first time he races against younger.

#5- Champion In Action (Night Rider Stables, ridden by P Lopez)- As a three year old, Champion In Action showed plenty of potential that enabled him to run in the KYD. However, he only won once that year. This season, he turned that around quickly, getting three consecutive wins, coming in the SSM Classic, the Grade 3 Skip Away, and the Grade 1 Gold Cup. In the latter he defeated Centerpiece, State Police, Splash Mountain, and Pretty Ferro. He struggled in his last race, where he was a significant high weight, so that can be a throw out to an extent. Unfortunately, he still has to deal with carrying four more pounds then the three year olds here. The trainer is confident, stating, “I don’t see anyone beating him in this race” in the forums.

#6- Liberty Valance (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by S X Bridgmohan)- Here is a horse that is an example of one that is close, but just needs a little more. He has run well, but outside of a win in the Grade 3 Southwest, which set him on to tougher competition, he has not been much more then a midpack horse. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with finishing fifth in the BEL, or sixth in the Haskell, other then the fact that the trainer did not pick up a check for either of them. His last four races show him beaten two lengths each time. Somehow, the trainer has to find out a way to pick up those nagging two lengths. If he can, then Liberty Valance can be a much better horse. Maybe there will be a breakout race, and maybe it’s here.

#7- Hollywood Latte (Nakamura Stables, ridden by J Talamo)- Just three months ago, Hollywood Latte was atop the virtual racing world after winning the PRK. As great as that is, the trainer is certainly hoping the accomplishments will continue to come, but his last two races did not show that. He was quite flat in the BEL in June, and then in the Haskell, he finished in the middle of the field. It’s time now for him to get another positive result, and with a four pound weight advantage, there is no excuse for him not to be competitive. This distance should also be right in his wheelhouse.

#8- Apples To Oranges (Mb Stables, ridden by T Gaffalione)- The TC season was kind to this Slither colt, as he ran third in the KYD, and then narrowly missed out on winning the BEL, where he settled for second. We’ve seen him once since then, that being the Haskell, and he was finishing in the middle of the field with Hollywood Latte in that race. He has been at his best when he looks to come from off the pace, and that was not the tactic that he used in the Haskell. I would imagine that we will see a return to that, or something close to that here. He’ll like that weight advantage too, and his resume could use a big race like this to say that he won, other then the Wood Memorial.

#9- Achilles (Diablo Diablo, ridden by J L Ortiz)- Started the year running very well, with the highlight being a win in the Grade 1 SA Handicap. He showed great closing kick in order to pick up that win, but that is something that he has not been able to duplicate in any of his last three finishes. He failed to hit the board in all of them, but seemed to be using more of a midpack tactic, as well. If you look at his works, this should be one of the elite horses in this game, but he is not at that level right now. A win here would change that, but will he show us that form?

#10- Range Of The Sun (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by Mario Gutierrez)- We all know, or should know, that Cherokee Sunset is now officially the top sire in the game. In this race, he will have four of his foals going to post, and all of them can have a good chance to win this race. For Range Of The Sun, the gelding has eight wins in 26 career starts, and snapped a winless skid in his last race, the Grade 3 Cougar Handicap, a 12-furlong race. He seems more productive when running in smaller stakes lately and not as much in Grade 1’s like this, but do not rule him out.

#11- Fox News (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by J Bravo)- The Diplomatic Immunity colt has five wins in nineteen starts, and seems due to run a big one. Every now and then, Fox News steps up and looks like he can be one of the best horses in the game. Unfortunately, that does not seem to happen enough, and he has been cold since winning the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes in February. He has some bullet works coming into the race, though.

#12- Questionable (Mb Stables, ridden by J R Velazquez)- Last month, this three year old gelding picked up a huge win, taking the $1,000.000 Queens Plate up at WO. He has won three of ten career starts, which also include a win in the Fountain Of Youth. Due to the restrictions placed on trainer entries in the KYD, he was unable to race there, and disappointed in the PRK. Perhaps his name is fitting, because whether he shows up and runs a big one, or whether he doesn’t show up at all seems like it is a little questionable. Don’t usually see that from Mb horses, but he fits the bill.

#13- Crossing The Rubicon (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by K J Desormeaux)- Going this long is something rather new for the Cherokee Sunset three year old. He did run a nine furlong maiden once (finished fifth), but other then that he has not run more then a mile. His career has also been evenly split between the dirt and the main track. Lately, he has been running very well, with back to back wins in his last two starts, which includes the Grade 3 Dwyer at BEL last month.

#14- Smugglers Blues- Scratched

#15- Beaver Wars (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by Alan Garcia)- This one certainly has had an unconventional three year old season, and had a shot to win the KYD as a maiden. That didn’t happen, but he did finally break that in his next start. After that, I think many of us were expecting to see Beaver Wars jump back into graded competition and have a lot of success, but that has not happened quite yet. His OH Derby run in June was a bit of a head scratcher. He has some good works for this race, so he may bounce back, but doing so from this post is a tough obstacle.

Prediction: 2-7-5-8

— NS



Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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