A compact, but accomplished, field of six will vie in the Saturday headliner at Del Mar, the $500,000 Pacific Classic (G1). The victor of the “Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In” event will earn a starting berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland.

Pacific Classic Analysis

#1 Midcourt will be sent from the rail, with #5 Maximum Security tracking that one from second in the early stages. I think the duo will establish a strong pace to set things up for a runner from off the early tempo.

Pacific Classic Contenders

#1 MIDCOURT — Shirreffs trainee missed by a nose in the San Diego (G2) on the course in preparation for Saturday. Midnight Lute gelding shows a 3-2-1-0 mark at Del Mar, and he looks to be the one to catch turning for home beneath Victor Espinoza. Midcourt will be tough to topple with his best performance.

#2 HIGHER POWER — Upset pick was a dominant winner of the race in 2019 for Sadler when drawing off by 5 1/4 lengths. Medaglia d’Oro 5-year-old was just third in the San Diego most recently at 1 1/16 miles, but the Kentucky-bred will show vast improvement on the stretch-out on Saturday. Regular rider Flavien Prat has the call.

#3 MIRINAQUE — South American import has been first or second in all but one career showing in advance of his U.S. debut. Hurricane Cat colt faces a tall task in a fine field in the Pacific Classic, but the dual Group 1 star does show five works at Del Mar, and he also receives Lasix for the initial time. Wildcard in the cast could be almost any kind.

#4 DARK VADER — Tale of Ekati 5-year-old was a smart allowance winner on the course most recently for Eurton. Dark bay has drilled two bullets in the interim, and he stands as a top-three contender if he handles his first voyage at 10 furlongs. Rispoli will be in the silks.

#5 MAXIMUM SECURITY — Champion New Year’s Day colt prepped for the Pacific Classic with a game score in the San Diego in his debut for Baffert. 4-year-old has been brilliant in each lifetime showing to date, and his trio of morning moves leading up to Saturday give the impression that he will fire big yet again. Abel Cedillo retains the mount.

#6 SHARP SAMURAI — First Samurai gelding was a closing second in the grassy Eddie Read (G2) in advance of his return to the main surface. Glatt pupil has limited experience on the dirt, but the bay is ultra-consistent and could challenge for a piece if he runs to his solid morning drills. Juan Hernandez has the assignment.

Pacific Classic Wagers

  • $40 Win: #2 Higher Power ($40)