PIcks And Preview For The TVG Pacific Classic
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After starting the year with a pair of wins at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, California Chrome was away from the track for several months, but got ready for the (G1) Pacific Classic with a win in the San Diego Handicap and looks a solid favorite.
Listed at 8-5 in the morning line in field of nine, California Chrome has by all reports been working very well in the lead up to the Pacific Classic and should get his usual close-stalking trip at Del Mar. While he did finish well ahead of most of the San Diego Handicap field, he was only 1/2 length clear of Dortmund (5-2) and probably needed to get back to racing form following a four-month layoff. It's difficult not to put him on top here.
There is lots of intrigue in a race with short-priced favorites, however, particularly with six-year-old mare Beholder (3-1) in the field. After running off a string of eight straight wins going back to 2014, the Richard Mandella trainee was upset last out in the Clement Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar by Stellar Wind, a very good filly who ran one of the best races of her life. Even in defeat Beholder was more than game, and she certainly belongs in this field. Looking to fill the bottom of the ticket, Hoppertunity (8-1) doesn't win often at this level, but is always in the mix.
The TVG Pacific Classic goes Saturday, August 20 from Del Mar. Post time is 9:15 PM Eastern.
1) #1 - California Chrome
2) #7 - Beholder
3) #8 - Dortmund
4) #2 - Hoppertunity