How to bet the 2022 Pacific Classic Stakes

September 1st, 2022

A fantastic field of six will vie in the signature race of the Del Mar meeting on Saturday.

The $1 million Pacific Classic (G1) tops a huge card at the picturesque venue, and the race attracted the otherworldly #5 Flightline, who has decimated his foes by a combined 42 lengths from his quartet of sublime lifetime tries. But I think he will have his toughest test to date on Saturday and could be worth trying to beat at minuscule odds.

Trained by John Sadler, the exquisite son of Tapit comes off a tour-de-force performance in the Met Mile (G1) at Belmont Park when cruising home by six widening lengths. The dual Grade 1 victor continues to train in rapid fashion in advance of his second run at Del Mar, and his best showing will make him nearly impossible to defeat in the hands of Flavien Prat.

However, Flightline has never run two turns, nor longer than a mile, so he is something of a question mark at 10 panels while facing some tough foes.

Richard Mandella’s #3 Royal Ship has been a tough horse to figure out for me, but I came away thoroughly impressed by the Brazilian-bred son of Midshipman following his San Diego H. (G2) tally on the surface last time out.

The gelded six-year-old always looked like a winner when toppling a stout field, and he has trained in very good fashion in the interim. He can handle the distance, and I love that he ran so well in the San Diego H. on a surface that he didn’t thrive upon in the past. Mike Smith will be in the silks once again, and he will have the especially versatile sort within striking range as the field approaches the turn for home.

Dubai World Cup (G1) winner #2 Country Grammer was runner-up in the San Diego (G2) in his first run back since returning from the desert, and the five-year-old did it at a trip which is far shorter than his ideal one. Trained by Bob Baffert, the bay son of Tonalist has improved his early speed since joining this shedrow, and the distance is obviously to his preference on Saturday, as well. John Velazquez coming in to ride is a huge positive.

Pacific Classic Wagers

  • $10 exacta: box 3-5 ($20)
  • $5 exacta: box 2-5 ($10)
  • $5 trifecta: 3, 5 with 3, 5 with 2 ($10)
  • $1 trifecta: 2, 3 with 2, 3 with all ($8)