Archives for August 2017

Girvin Goes for Haskell Travers Double

Source: NYRA

Brad Grady’s Girvin jogged a lap on the Oklahoma training track at about 6:00 a.m. Monday, two days after his final breeze for the Grade 1 Travers. Winner of the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational winner last time out, he must prove he can handle the 10-furlong trip of the race in his second attempt. He was off the board after a troubled trip in the Kentucky Derby over the same distance in May.

“The distance is always an unknown because his trip in the Derby wasn’t a fair testament,” trainer Joe Sharp said. “Based on his running style and how he finishes and has been training, I think he can handle it. He’ll definitely be running from the quarter-pole home and always tries. He’s a horse who really wants to win.”

Girvin will be teaming up again with Robby Albarado, who rode for the first time in the Haskell and employed a deep-closing tactic on the millionaire son of Tale of Ekati. In races prior, the nearly black colt displayed more tactical speed.

“I don’t really give instructions and I don’t think Robby anticipated being that far back either, but Robby knows the horse and he obviously rode him perfectly that day,” Sharp said. “He doesn’t have to be that far back and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is closer this time, but Robby will ride his race. He’s a versatile jockey who does his homework.”

“I don’t think the post is too important with Girvin,” Sharp said. “He has the ability to be wherever you need him to be and he’s a smart horse. Obviously, we don’t want to be stuck all the way on the outside, but also I think he could handle that. He’s a horse who gives you confidence.”

Handicapping Tip of the Day #42 – Beware the Triple Drop

by Rich Nilsen

On opening day at Del Mar racetrack (July 19, 2017) top local trainer and crafty claiming horseman Peter Miller entered the 6yo gelding, Belisarius (Ire), in a $16,000 claiming race going one mile on the dirt.  On the ‘surface’ the winner of $174,659 lifetime looked like a major player. Although all his wins were on the grass (and this was on the dirt), Belisarius was making his third start off the layoff, getting a switch to a high percentage jockey, and was getting a sharp drop in class. At morning line odds of 8-1, he looked juicy … at first glance.

However, handicappers are always warned to look beyond the first glance.  With a closer look, one could see that Miller had dropped this runner in class three consecutive times since he had been moved into his barn from that of Hall of Famer Bill Mott.  His first start for Miller was an also-ran effort in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap. He then returned off a layoff, dropping sharply in class to an optional claimer, two other than.  He ran dead last in the field of six, beaten nearly 16 lengths.

He then received an sharp drop in class to a $35,000 claimer for non-winners of three races lifetime.  Off at 6-1, he defeated two horses.  So, let’s try another drop in class and a surface switch. Red flags don’t come any bigger.  Miller was desperately trying to find a spot where the once-sound horse could be competitive.  We don’t know why, but some reason this horse had soured on racing.

race horse from Peter Miller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bet down to odds of 6.10 to 1, Belisarius was never competitive en route to a fifth place finish.   Miller wasn’t done yet with the class drops.  On August 5, he ran for $8,000 at Del Mar and finished a non-competitive sixth.

Class drops are not always positive, especially when it is a series of consecutive class drops that do not result in improved performances.

More 2017 Travers Stakes News

Source: NYRA

Whitham Thoroughbred’s multiple graded stakes winner McCraken galloped 1 ½ miles over the Saratoga main track Monday morning, likely setting the 3-year-old Ghostzapper colt up for a final tune-up on Tuesday ahead of the Grade 1 Travers, said trainer Ian Wilkes.

Wilkes said he’ll wait until morning to decide where and how to breeze McCraken, who put in his first work since his runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational last Wednesday over the Oklahoma training track, covering six furlongs in 1:16.23.

“I’ll do something tomorrow morning at 6 o’clock [but] I want to see how he eats up tonight, look at him in the morning and decide,” said Wilkes. “Obviously, it’s something that depends on the horse and the timing of where you’re at. He’s just coming off the last race and the timing coming into this race, I don’t need a lot, but I’ve got to do something. All you’re doing is a light work, setting them up for that race.”

With five days until the ‘Mid-Summer Derby,’ the planned breeze on Tuesday is comparable to McCracken’s prerace routine before the Grade 3 Matt Winn, when he breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 four days prior to his 2 ¼-length comeback win, and before the Haskell, where he finished second by a nose to Girvin following a half-mile work in 49.20 seconds five days earlier.

Following a half-mile breeze on Monday, Marylou Whitney Stable’s Grade 2 Alysheba winner Bird Song is likely to pass over a start in Saturday’s Grade 1, $600,000 Forego, opting instead to target the Grade 2, $300,000 Kelso Handicap on September 23 at Belmont Park, said Wilkes.

Wilkes has been experimenting with blinkers on the 4-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song in the morning, following a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt at six furlongs on July 29, where he cut back dramatically in distance after an eighth-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile Grade 1 Stephen Foster.

Despite breezing four furlongs in 48.45 seconds on the Oklahoma track, the seventh-fastest of 75 horses, Wilkes said Bird Song didn’t show the same keenness in Monday’s move as he did the previous week, also with blinkers on.

“The horse worked alright, but I may wait for the Kelso,” he said. “He was very relaxed today, switched off. I’m just not 100 percent sure where I am with the horse after that work to come into the Forego. It’s just where I think I am with the horse and where I want to go with him. I think the Kelso might be a better race for him.”
*         *         *
The first two of three expected European invaders for Travers undercard stakes took to the track for the first time on Monday morning, nearly two days after entering quarantine. Niarchos Family’s Francis-Henri Graffard-trained invader Erupt appears one of the expected favorites in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer on the strength of his victory last fall in the Grade 1 Canadian International at Woodbine over the Sword Dancer’s 1 1/2-mile distance.

Both Erupt and Ross jogged on the training track before being rerouted to new non-quarantine barns. While Tuesday plans are not set for Ross – stabled in Graham Motion’s barn – French-trained Erupt is expected to do a light canter at 7:30 a.m., according to Aurelian Bellei, the on-site contact.

Stall Domstadt’s Ross is a German-trained son of Acclamation facing the tall task of taking on American dirt horses in the Grade 1 Forego on the same card. Still, the Peter Schiergen-conditioned 5-year-old horse has proven left-handed dirt form, having finished second by a neck in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile in March on the Dubai World Cup undercard. In said event, he out-finished highly regarded American sprinter-miler Sharp Azteca.

The third and final European invader from as many countries is Irish-based Idaho, who will join Erupt in the Sword Dancer. The Coolmore conglomerate-owned, Aidan O’Brien-trained full brother to globetrotting turf superstar Highland Reel arrives Tuesday and is expected to be on the track Thursday morning after clearing quarantine.

Grade 2 Jim Dandy runner-up Giuseppe the Great is in good shape after his breeze on Friday morning. The four-furlong work in 48.80 seconds over the Oklahoma training track was his last before his start in Saturday’s Grade 1 Travers. Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito, who won the 2004 Travers with Birdstone, will saddle the son of Lookin At Lucky as his 29th Travers starter.

“We went over to the main track today just to go through the paddock, and gallop around. He looked good, he went there, we liked what he did, we were happy about that,” Zio said.

“The whole thing now is to make sure he doesn’t go over the edge. One day here [at the Oklahoma track], one day there, today he went to the main track, tomorrow we’ll stay here, maybe go to the gate Wednesday, and school. It really was a great work, to do that, with all those big horses.”

Giuseppe the Great, still in search of his first graded stakes victory through six career starts has been called a professional by Zito. The colt has a runner up finish in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens in addition to the Jim Dandy, and gives the 69-year-old Brooklyn- born trainer a solid competitor on Saturday. The Jim Dandy result and projected field for the Travers doesn’t deter his confidence.

“I think it’s terrific,” Zito said. “I’m happy we hung in there. I’m happy Chad is running that horse [Cloud Computing]. It legitimizes our horse a little bit. It makes him look legitimate, and that those are the horses to beat again. It’s funny that nobody talks about Good Samaritan. He was impressive.”

Great Horse Racing Videos – Record-breaking Travers Stakes

The Travers Stakes had been contested 146 previous times at the oldest racetrack in America, Saratoga Race Course.  But a fairly unknown runner from the Bob Baffert barn would make this a memorable renewal of the Grade 1 Travers Stakes.

I’m proud to say that I was wise enough to select Arrogate on this day, the last time anyone would get close to double digit odds on the amazing racehorse.

Arrogate ran his final two furlongs in an unbelievable 23.84 and set a track record for 10 furlongs at Saratoga by hitting the teletimer in 1.59:36.   “The fastest Travers ever … and a new track record!” ~ bellowed track announcer Larry Columus.

Left in Arrogate’s wake were talented runners Gun Runner, Creator, Exaggerator, American Freedom, and Destin.

 

 

Longshots Lookin At Lee, Fayeq Seek Travers Upset

Saratoga paddock copyright Agameofskill.comSource: NYRA

L and N Racing’s Lookin At Lee had his final breeze for Saturday’s Grade 1 Travers at approximately 6:00 a.m. Monday, negotiating a steady half-mile in 50.99 seconds over the Oklahoma training track with exercise rider Angel Garcia aboard.

The move was good for 54th of 75 at the distance. The Steve Asmussen-trained Grade 1 Kentucky Derby runner-up recorded the same drill in 51.59 one week ago and exits a third in the Grade 3 West Virginia Derby on August 5.

“The work went well,” Asmussen said. “I didn’t get a time and it was pretty foggy, but he traveled well and Angel thought he went well. He came out of it good and we are very pleased with him.” 

It was a big morning for the Asmussen stable, with stable star and three-time Grade 1 winner Gun Runner worked just prior to Lookin At Lee, shooting a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.40, the fastest of 11. Regular pilot Florent Geroux was in the saddle and will have the return call in the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward on September 2.

“Gun Runner worked super,” Asmussen said. “It was more of the same with him. He’s on schedule for the Woodward.”

The Asmussen barn has gone 9-4-2-0 in the last week of racing.

After sending out the last of his workers over the Oklahoma turf course and without a horse entered on Monday’s program, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin spent a few minutes back at the barn searching the Internet for the meaning of Fayeq, Shadwell Stable’s improving 3-year-old that will make his stakes debut in Saturday’s Grade 1 Travers.

It is a question McLaughlin has faced numerous times before with Shadwell horses such as Hall of Famer Invasor and other Grade 1 winners such as Lahudood, Jazil and Tamarkuz and, most recently, with multiple graded stakes winner Mohaymen.

Other than discovering Fayeq is an Arabic boys’ name, McLaughlin’s search was unsuccessful.

“It does come up with the real good ones. We hope that we need to find out more about it,” McLaughlin said. “We just say Fay-ek.”

Fayeq continued his Travers preparations galloping 1 3/8 miles over Saratoga’s main track Monday under exercise rider Rob Massey. McLaughlin said the half-brother to Hall of Fame mare Rachel Alexandra will gallop each morning into the race.

“He’s doing very well. He’s ready to go,” McLaughlin said. “It’s a tough race, we know, but he’s just real happy and he’s training well, so we’re happy about that.”

Fayeq has won his last two starts, each under jockey Luis Saez, who will ride the Malibu Moon colt back in the Travers. Both his June 11 maiden victory and 3 ½-length allowance score July 26 at Saratoga going 1 1/8 miles came against older horses; Grade 3 winner West Coast is the only other of 12 projected Travers starters to have faced his elders, taking an optional claiming event in May at Santa Anita.

Unraced at 2, Fayeq debuted with a third-place effort behind Timeline and Giuseppe the Great in a seven-furlong maiden special weight March 4 at Gulfstream Park. Timeline went on to win a pair of Grade 3 races while Giuseppe the Great graduated in his next start and was second in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens and Grade 2 Jim Dandy and will make his Grade 1 debut in the Travers.

“He came in to us late. They took their time with him. We received him October 11 so that’s why he wasn’t anywhere early on,” McLaughlin said. “Then we had a gate issue with him, but he’s doing really well and he’s come on a lot. It’s a tough spot but we’re here and we’re going to try.

“His first race finished third and he was in the 13 hole. He’s run against stakes horses, just not in stakes races,” he added. “It’s a big step up but he’s doing very well and we like him. We’re happy Luis Saez is riding him because he’s already won on him twice.”

McLaughlin isn’t concerned with what post position Fayeq gets at Tuesday evening’s draw in downtown Saratoga Springs. He broke from post 7 and 4 in each of his two victories, where he stalked the pace before pouncing at the top of the stretch to win by a combined 6 ¼ lengths.

“Post position doesn’t really matter going a mile and a quarter. It’s a long run into the first turn,” he said. “The only probably bad post is if you’re 12 or 13 or 14 and you have speed and there’s other speed, and you get hung out. There shouldn’t be any bad post for us. In this group we might be back a ways, mid-pack.”

Alpha gave McLaughlin his lone Travers win in an historic dead heat with Golden Ticket in 2012. Saez will be riding in the Travers for the third time, winning with eventual 3-year-old champion Will Take Charge in 2013.

“It was different when we won it with Alpha. He had a lot more experience going into it,” McLaughlin said. “It’s a big step up so we’ll see. It’s a good race. There’s a lot of nice horses in it.”

Pletcher Team on Target for 2017 Travers Stakes

Source: NYRA

Trainer Todd Pletcher confirmed Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming and Belmont Stakes winner Tapwrit will be entered to run in the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers presented by NYRA Bets. Curlin winner Outplay’s status will be determined on Tuesday, Pletcher said, adding that Outplay’s potential jockey assignment is also a factor in the decision.

“We’re definitely planning to run Always Dreaming and Tapwrit and we’ll make a decision tomorrow on Outplay,” Pletcher said from his barn Monday morning.

copyright AGameofSkill.comHall of Fame jockey John Velazquez has been the regular rider of Always Dreaming through his 3-year-old campaign and has ridden Outplay in his last two races. Jose Ortiz has been aboard Tapwrit in all five of the colt’s starts this year.

Pletcher has saddled a pair of Travers winners; Flower Alley in 2005 and Stay Thirsty in 2011. Should he have three entrants in the 148th running, for three separate ownership groups, Pletcher said the possible logistical issues of serving different interests should not be a problem.

“It’s really not that challenging. We’re training all three horses whether they are running in the race or not,” Pletcher said. “The owners are very understanding in these situations. Most of the owners I have also have horses with other trainers, so we’ve been in situations where I might be running a horse against one of theirs, so it’s really not an issue for us. Sometimes it gets a little dicier when you try to maneuver maidens into different races than it is in the big events.”

Pletcher said having multiple horses in a prestigious race can sometimes lessen the pressure.

“Sometimes when you only have one, you’re hoping you get there, but sometimes it’s a little safety net to have more than one,” Pletcher said. “But we don’t really look at it on those terms. We’re just happy that we are fortunate to have three horses who are good enough to be considered for the race.”

All three put in their final breezes before Travers Day on the Oklahoma training track Friday, with Always Dreaming working four furlongs in 49.60 seconds in company with Outplay and Tapwrit also putting in a half-mile in 50.24 seconds.

“My main concern was getting those final works in and with the weather being a little dicey, we wanted to get them in on a good surface and we were able to do that on Friday,” Pletcher said. “They [came out] of it well and once we got to that point, you just hope everything continues to go smoothly with the gate schooling and paddock schooling and routine gallops.”

AGOS Horses to Watch – 8/21/17

Arlington Park

Race#7 – G1 Secretariat – 1 1/4 turf – #6 – Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal = Ryan Moore made the trip across the pond for trainer Aidan O’Brien. He rated well and moved into the 2 path around the 1st turn. Continued to rate and was forced to swing out 6 wide making a strong late rally being forced to settle for 2nd money this day.

Race #8 – Bruce D Memorial – 1 mile AW – #10 – Society Beau

Society Beau = James Graham had the call for trainer Neil Howard and was far back in the field shortly after the start. His efforts weaved through traffic and uncorked a strong late rally making this race a to follow right back to the windows for good things to come.

Race #9 – G3 American St. Leger – 1 11/16 turf – #8 Bullards Alley

Bullards Alley = Irad Ortiz aboard for trainer Tim Glyshaw. All reports had this runner looking great coming into the race and was forced wide around every turn in the race. He was forced to check at the 5/8th’s and appeared to call it a day after a taxing trip. – You can bet dollars to donuts you’ll see a much better effort next up.

Race #10 – G1 Beverly D – 1 3/16 turf – #5 – Grand Jete

Grand Jete = Joel Rosario in the saddle for trainer Chad Brown. He rated well from the start and tried to kick out for clear sailing being forced to wait until the 1/8th pole where he finished up with a very strong late run. – This race is a sign of very good things to come.

Belterra Park

8/12/17

Race #8 – Claiming – 6f on the main – #3 – Dancing Ava

Dancing Ava = Perry Ouzts in the irons for trainer Larry Smith where they win (21%) as a team. He broke slowly from the gate and made a very strong late rally up the rail settling to be the bridesmaid this day.

Saratoga Race course

8/12/17

Race #7 – Mdn Sp Wt – 7f on the main – #2 – Coal Truth

Coal Truth = Javier Castellano aboard for trainer Chad Brown this day. They were sent off the odds-on favorite and hit the side of the stall upon leaving the starting gate. After grabbing his mount and getting back on course he was forced 6 wide at the top of the stretch and was running strong late in the lane.

Race #9 – Allowance Optional Claiming – 6f on the main – #9 – Cerro

Cerro = John Velasquez aboard for trainer Bruce Levine. They were 3-4 wide going into the first turn and were sent off the post time favorite at race time. – This is one of the best gambler’s move to come right back and make repeat play.

KY Derby Winner Looking to Rebound in 2017 Travers Stakes

walking horse through Saratoga crowdSource: NYRA

Trainer Todd Pletcher saw three of his potential starters in the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers breeze early Friday morning, with Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming going four furlongs in 49.60 seconds on the Oklahoma training track in company with Outplay and Belmont Stakes-winner Tapwrit also working a half-mile on the same track in 50.24 seconds.

Always Dreaming, ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, breezed for the third time on the training tack since finishing third in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy on July 29. Outplay, the winner of the Curlin July 28 at the Spa, was officially clocked in 49.99 seconds.

“We were just looking for a good, positive work,” Pletcher said. “They both ran Jim Dandy weekend and breezed well last week, so we just wanted a good indication that they are maintaining form and doing well. I thought they both finished up extremely well and galloped out strongly; all the things you were hoping to see.”

The set worked right before heavy rain fell, with Always Dreaming starting behind Outplay and closed strongly to catch his workmate at the wire.

“He started off about a length and a half behind. Johnny was able to bide his time and move up to him. I had him the last quarter in 23 and 2/5, finishing up strongly and galloping out well,” Pletcher said.

Always Dreaming finished 5 ¼ lengths behind Jim Dandy-winner Good Samaritan last out going 1 1/8 miles. The Travers, presented by NYRA Bets, is contested at 1 ¼ miles. Pletcher said the main track could play faster for the Mid-Summer Derby.

“I would expect an improved performance because he’s now had a mile and eighth race under his belt,” Pletcher said. “Right now, if the track continues to play the way it is currently, it’s definitely tighter than it was Jim Dandy weekend. I would say it’s playing at least a second to a second and a half faster at a mile and an eighth than it did at that time. In retrospect, [with] the freshening we gave Always Dreaming between the Preakness and the Jim Dandy, we were expecting the more traditional, livelier Saratoga track.”

Always Dreaming is 4-1-2 in eight career starts and has raced just once since finishing eighth in the Preakness on May 20.

“I think we’re coming into the [Travers] with a fresh, fit horse who has given every indication that he’s in good form,” Pletcher said. “I think the time has agreed with him and we’ve gotten enough out of his training, hopefully ready to fire his best race.”

Outplay, owned by Repole Stable, would be making his graded stakes debut after posting a 5 ¾-length score in the Curlin, which followed a third-place finish in his first stakes start in the Easy Goer on June 10 at Belmont Park.

“I’ll talk to Mr. [Mike] Repole and, first of all, determine if we’re going to run Outplay here or in the Pennsylvania Derby,” Pletcher said. “I think Outplay has really progressed. The Curlin was a big win for him; the way he did it was great and the way he’s training since then has been even better.”

Tapwrit worked in company with Lucy N Ethel, marking his fifth work at Saratoga since winning the Belmont by two lengths. The Tapit colt also was able to finish his set before the rain came in.

“I thought he looked good,” Pletcher said. “The track was playing fair, it wasn’t super fast but it was in good shape. We got lucky that we missed most of the rain and this track can handle moisture very well.”

Pletcher has two career Travers wins to his credit, saddling Flower Ally in 2005 and Stay Thirsty in 2011.

Salomon del Valle’s multiple graded stakes winner Gunnevera wrapped up his major preparations for next weekend’s Travers with a five-furlong breeze at Gulfstream Park West for trainer Antonio Sano.

Gunnevera covered five furlongs in 1:00 under jockey Edgard Zayas, the fastest of four at the distance. It was the first breeze for the 3-year-old Dialed In colt since making his successful comeback in the Tangelo, in which he geared down to win by five lengths with Zayas aboard on August 6.

“He was very relaxed, just an easy work,” said Sano. “He doesn’t need much, just maintenance. He’s ready. We only want to keep him happy.

“He’s really, really good and we’re very happy with him,” he added. “He looks the way he looked before he won the Fountain of Youth.”

In his only previous start at the Spa, Gunnevera won the Grade 2 Saratoga Special as a 2-year-old, eventually closing out his season with a win in the Grade 3 Delta Jackpot.

At 3, the chestnut colt was an early contender on the Triple Crown trail, opening his sophomore campaign with a runner-up finish to Irish War Cry in the Grade 2 Holy Bull in February before posting a 5 ¾-length victory in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth on March 4. Gunnevera was third as the even-money favorite in the Grade 1 Florida Derby the following month before finishing seventh in the Kentucky Derby and fifth in the Preakness.

Gunnevera will van up from Florida on Friday evening and is expected to settle in at Saratoga on Sunday.

Thoroughbred Horse breeding in Minnesota is a High-risk, High-reward Business

“They’re all Kentucky Derby contenders,” Rake said, “until you find out they’re not.”

On the seventh day of his vigil, Scott Rake hovered over his laptop and rubbed his bleary eyes. His mare, Peaceful Sky, should have given birth by now — and with her pregnancy at 340 days and counting, he was trying his best not to worry. Rake, his wife, Angie, and farm manager Heather Haagenson began… [Read more…]

America’s Best Seeks Rebound in $1-million TVG Pacific Classic this Saturday

Del Mar
copyright Gary Tasich

Arrogate, the North American earnings champion with something to prove at Del Mar, will get a chance to do just that this Saturday when he heads a field of eight horses in the $1-million TVG Pacific Classic.

The gray by Unbridled’s Song was assigned Post 8 at a special “Draw Party” Tuesday evening at the popular Brigantine restaurant on the high ground overlooking the seaside oval and once again will be handled by his Hall of Fame partner, Mike Smith. The mile and a quarter crucible, which will reward its winner with a prize of $600,000, will go off at approximately 5:40 p.m. PDT as the eightth race on an 11-race card. NBCSN will televise the Grade I headliner nationally.

The Juddmonte Farms colt was installed as the even-money favorite by Del Mar linemaker Russ Hudak, a substantially longer price than the 1-5 morning line he started with in the TVG San Diego Handicap here July 22. He’s also likely to finish quite a bit longer than the 1-20 odds he broke from the gate with in that mile and one-sixteenth test. The real question, though, is will he make up for a case of what subsequently proved to be disappointment of the highest order?

Going into the San Diego, Arrogate had a record of seven wins from eight starts with a bankroll that registered over $17-million, more than any other North American horse in history. But in the San Diego he managed to – in the words of his Hall of Fame trainer, Bob Baffert –  “lay an egg.” The husky 4-year-old never got in gear that afternoon and finished a disappointing fourth.

But his connections feel he has put that “no go” behind him and is back “to his old self” after a series of steady works since. He’ll pack 124 pounds – as will all runners in the race with the exception of the 3-year-old Sorry Erik, who gets 118 – trying to show the racing world that he’s back and that his “Horse of the World” crown still fits nicely on his classy head.

Set to take him on are the colt who beat him in the TVG San Diego, Hronis Racing’s Accelerate, along with another Hronis runner, Hard Aces; R3 Racing, Calara Farms and ERJ Racing’s Curlin Road, Reddam Racing’s Donworth, Tachycardia Stables and Twilight Racing’s Royal Albert Hall, Big Chief Racing’s Sorry Erik and Speedway Stable’s Collected. The last-named runner, a galloping winner of the Precisionist Stakes at Santa Anita in his last start, also hails from the Bob Baffert barn.

The TVG Pacific Classic will draw top billing on a deep card that also will feature two other Graded stakes – the Grade I Del Mar Oaks and the Grade II Del Mar Handicap, the former run at nine furlongs on grass for a $300,000 purse and the latter marked in at 11 furlongs on the lawn for a $250,000 pot.

Both the TVG Pacific Classic and the Del Mar Handicap are Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races, guaranteeing their winners admission into designated Breeders’ Cup races. The former gets its hero a free ticket into the $6-million Breeders’ Cup Classic, while the latter ensures admission into the $4-million Breeders’ Cup Turf. Both will be run at Del Mar on Saturday, November 4 as part of the two-day, 13-race extravaganza that will be held at the shore track for the first time this fall.

Here’s the field for the TVG Pacific Classic in post position order with riders and morning line odds:

Post Position Horse/Jockey Morning Line Odds
1 ROYAL ALBERT HALL (GB)
Corey Nakatani
30-1
2 COLLECTED
Martin Garcia
5/2
3 ACCELERATE
Victor Espinoza
3-1
4 SORRY ERIK
Kent Desormeaux
30-1
5 HARD ACES
Santiago Gonzalez
20-1
6 DONWORTH
Mario Gutierrez
15-1
7 CURLIN ROAD
Flavien Prat
20-1
8 ARROGATE
Mike Smith
Even

First post Saturday for the chock full card is 2 p.m. PDT.