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2012 Pacific Classic Day

Joel Rosario aboard Dullahan before the 2012 Pacific Classic
Date: 08/26/2012

The highlight race of the Del Mar meeting is the $1 million Pacific Classic (G1), featuring the best older horses of the west coast going 1 1/4 miles over the Polytrack, and is a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Classic. 34,482 fans packed the seaside oval on Sunday afternoon under sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 70's. As expected, Game On Dude was sent off as the 6-5 favorite in the field of 10, off his wins in the Californian (G2) and the Hollywood Gold Cup (G1). In to challenge him included 9-2 second choice Richard's Kid, second in the Hollywood Gold Cup before winning the Cougar II Handicap (G3), and 5-1 third choice Dullahan, the only 3-year-old in the field, making his first start against older horses off his distant 5th in the Haskell (G1).

Dullahan takes the lead in stretch

77-1 longest shot Riveting Reason was shot to the front first time past the stands getting the opening quarter in 23.61 before Game On Dude took over on the clubhouse turn through a half in 46.98 and 3/4 in 1:11.08, while stalked by 6-1 Suggestive Boy. On the far turn, Game On Dude continued to lead, opening up a 1 1/2 length advantage through 1 mile in 1:35.25. Under urging by jockey Chantal Sutherland, Game On Dude extended his lead to 2 lengths at the 1/8 pole, but Dullahan, who was 9th early, rallied five wide to win by 1/2 a length in a new track record time of 1:59.54. It was a long 2 3/4 lengths back to late-running Richard's Kid third.

Pgm  Horse              Jockey        Win  Place  Show
 5   Dullahan         Rosario       12.60   5.20  3.40
 9   Game On Dude     Sutherland            3.20  2.40
 3   Richard's Kid    Espinoza                    3.00

Winning Time:  1:59.54

$1 Exacta 5-9                21.30
$2 Quinella 5-9              16.80
$1 Trifecta 5-9-3            65.10
$1 Superfecta 5-9-3-1       443.60
Results Chart

Left: Dullahan in the winner's circle. Tammy Fox, assistant to winning trainer Dale Romans said, "How about that. Oh my God; he ran great. I'm so glad we can come to California and take the west coast money. They always take our money, now we're taking theirs."

Right: Dullahan circles after the race. Winning jockey Joel Rosario said, "They didn't give me any special instructions. Just said the obvious: he's a closer, save ground if you can, then make a late run. It worked out perfect. He's a one-paced horse. He just goes and goes. When we went for home and I saw (Game On Dude) in front of me, I knew I had a big chance. My horse was coming and coming. He doesn't stop. He's a nice horse; a very nice horse."

Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Game On Dude in the paddock before the race. Jockey Chantal Sutherland said, "That was him making that move on the backstretch. I didn't send him. He just got strong at the 5/8. He wanted to go. When he put his head in front of (Riveting Reason), he was fine. Then around the 1/16 pole, as I was switching my stick to the left hand, I pushed my rein loose. It was dangling at the end; it looked awful sloppy. I haven't done something like that in 13 years. But I don't think it affected anything. He was still doing what he could do. Just unfortunate."

Right: Third place finisher Richard's Kid in the paddock. Trainer Leandro Mora said, "The first thing I told (jockey Victor Espinoza) not to do, he did. I told him not to stay inside; he loves to be outside. But he was down inside and that's not where I wanted him. He had a chance to get outside once but he didn't get out. That's the only thing I'm unhappy about."

Capital Account wins the Pat O'Brien (G2)

The first stakes race on Pacific Classic day was the $250,000 Pat O'Brien (G2) for older horses sprinting 7 furlongs. Coil, an allowance winner last out after a 9 month layoff, was sent off as the 3-2 favorite in the field of 6 over 8-5 second choice Camp Victory, winner of the Triple Bend Handicap (G1), and 5-2 third choice Capital Account, third in the Bing Crosby (G1) last out.

24-1 Don Tito battled for the lead with Coil down the backstretch through fractions of 23.78 and 46.81, while pressed by Camp Victory. On the turn, Don Tito tired and dropped to last, allowing Coil to inherit the lead through 3/4 in 1:10.02 but Capital Account, fifth early, closed 3 wide to win by 1/2 a length in 1:21.56. It was another length back to Camp Victory third.

Results Chart

Left: Capital Account in the winner's circle. Bob Baffert, who trained the first 2 finishers, said, "(Camp Victory) was the horse to beat; he's a really good horse. But there wasn't a lot of pace, they were sort of walking around there and then turned it into a sprint for home. Advantage to Capital Account, he's a really fast horse and he's run some really big races. One-two (finish), we'll take it either way. Capital Account, we knew that 7/8 would be better for him. He's all racehorse."

Right: Capital Account returns after the race. Jockey David Flores said, "He broke just a shade slow, but there was no rush. I had a feeling there wasn't going to be a lot of pace and I just wanted to stay close. You can put him where you want him and he's easy to work with. When it came time I asked him and he gave me a big response. A very good race for him."

Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Coil in the paddock before the race. Trainer Bob Baffert said, "Coil really ran well, but Rafael had to use him a little when it looked like (Camp Victory) was making a move." Jockey Rafael Bejarano added, "When (Capital Account) broke a little slow, that changed things. But really, my horse had no excuses. He ran well; just not well enough to win."

Right: Third place finisher Camp Victory returns after the race. Trainer Mike Mitchell said, "There was no pace in the race. That means it didn't set up for him. I needed more speed in front of me. I knew that the Baffert horses were the ones to beat, but with that pace we couldn't do it."

Obviously (inside) wins the Del Mar Mile (G2)

The $200,000 Del Mar Mile (G2) features older horses going 1 mile on the turf. Obviously was sent off as the 11-10 favorite in the field of 6 off an allowance win on August 2. In to challenge him included 5-2 second choice Jeranimo, winner of the Shoemaker Mile (G2) last out, and 7-2 third choice Mr. Commons, fourth in the Shoemaker after finishing second in the American Handicap (G2).

Jockey Joe Talamo sent Obviously to the lead immediately and he set fast fractions of 22.64, 45.45, and 1:08.35 over the firm course while as many as 5 lengths clear of the rest of the field. Entering the stretch, Mr. Commons, who was last early, was closing quickly, and was 3 1/2 lengths behind at the 1/8 pole. The pair hit the line together with Obviously holding off Mr. Commons by a nose in a new course record time of 1:32.10. It was a long 4 3/4 lengths back to Jeramino third.

Results Chart

Left: Obviously in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Joe Talamo said, "He was more keen with me today than the other day. But that was good. I needed every inch to get it done. He just ran outstanding. He's a really good horse. At the sixteenth pole I could hear that other horse (Mr. Commons) coming. Good thing I still had a little bit left in the tank."

Right: Obviously returns after the race. Winning trainer Mike Mitchell said, "No instructions to Joe, he knows the horse. He felt he needed to open up like he did and, so be it, he's a good horseman. From the 1/8 pole home I saw that other horse coming at me and said 'ugh,' but it was a good horse race. I thought he'd like the race down the hill (6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita). But now (that he's won twice at a mile on turf) what do we do with him? We won't do anything, though, until October."

Left: Second place finisher Mr. Commons in the post parade. Jockey Brice Blanc said, "Tough one. He really leveled and ran the last part very well. We've been working on that in the mornings; working to get him to finish better. He did today. I could tell I was beaten. I was hoping we'd get there, but not quite."

Right: Third place finisher Jeranimo in the paddock. Jockey Garrett Gomez said, "He was full of himself today; on the muscle. I just let him go away from there and settle. Then he gave me his punch at the end. But not like he usually does. Not enough today."

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