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Abel Cedillo aboard Maximum Security after winning the 2020 Pacific Classic
The highlight race of the Del Mar summer meeting is the $500,000 TVG Pacific Classic (G1), featuring the best older horses of the west coast going 1 1/4 miles, and is a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Classic. Conditions were excellent at the seaside track, with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80's. A field of 6 went to post on Saturday, with Maximum Security sent off as the 2-5 favorite off his win in the San Diego Handicap (G2) after finishing first (purse money withheld pending investigation) in the Saudi Cup. In to challenge him included 9-2 second choice Higher Power, 2nd in the Hollywood Gold Cup (G2) but third in the San Diego Handicap, and 7-1 third choice Midcourt, 2nd in the San Diego Handicap.
Jockey Abel Cedillo sent Maximum Security to the lead first time by and he set fractions of 23.93, 47.98, 1:12.37, and 1:36.50 while pressed by 10-1 Sharp Samurai and stalked by Higher Power and Midcourt. Entering the lane, Maximum Security pulled away from the field, opening up by 1 1/2 lengths midstretch through 9f in 1:48.78m and finished 3 lengths clear of Sharp Samurai in 2:01.24. It was another 2 3/4 lengths back to Midcourt third.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 5 Maximum Security Cedillo 2.80 2.20 2.10 6 Sharp Samurai Hernandez 5.00 3.60 1 Midcourt Espinoza 3.00 Winning Time: 2:01.24 $1 Exacta 5-6 7.10 $2 Quinella 5-6 13.20 $1 Trifecta 5-6-1 29.80 $1 Superfecta 5-6-1-2 49.80Results Chart
Left: Maximum Security in the winner's circle. Winning owner-breeder Gary West said, "I've got tears in my eyes; I'm so happy. He looked so comfortable out there. There were a lot of good horses in that race, especially last year's winner (Higher Power). Sharp Samurai stuck with us. But we were best. I'm really proud of him."
Right: Maximum Security in the paddock before the race. Winning trainer Bob Baffert said, "We mapped it out that he's the quickest horse, he's ready and now you can ride him with a lot more confidence. Once he took the lead I figured he'd be fine. I just didn't want any quarters in 22 (seconds). 'Max' was relaxing really nice. He was a totally different horse today. Abel (Cedillo) got to know Max last time and I'm happy for him. (Maximum Security) just does things effortlessly. He wasn't even blowing when he came back. I'm just so happy for this horse. It's not his fault what he went through. Today he showed that he is a great horse."
Left: Second place finisher Sharp Samurai in the paddock before the race. The Mark Glatt trainee improved his record to 8 wins, 5 seconds, and 2 thirds in 21 starts, earning $981,270 for owners Red Baron's Barn and Rancho Temescal.
Right: Third place finisher Midcourt in the post parade. The John Shirreffs trainee improved his record to 5 wins, 2 seconds, and 3 thirds in 13 starts, earning $510,695 for owner C R K Stable.
Red Lark wins the Del Mar Oaks (G1)
Jockey Ruben Fuentes sent 34-1 Aqua Seaform Shame to the lead out of the chute through an opening quarter of 24.26 before Laura's Light took over through a half in 48.14 and 3/4 in 1:12.34 while pressed by 39-1 Parkour and stalked by Warren's Showtime. Turning for home, Warren's Showtime gained a short lead through 1 mile in 1:36.76 but 19-1 Red Lark, 6th early under Drayden Van Dyke, came out three wide for room and rallied to win by a length over late-closing 27-1 California Kook in 1:48.64. It was another 1/2 length bak to Warren's Showtime third, while Laura's Light faded to 6th.
Left: Red Lark in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Paddy Gallagher said, "The allowance race here set her up well and she came out of it good. I was confident in the filly; I knew she was happy and all, but I didn't know if she was good enough. She needed to run the race of her life and she did. Drayden had her in a great spot all the way and when he asked she responded and was good enough."
Right: Red Lark in the paddock before the race. Winning jockey Drayden Van Dyke said, "Out of the gate, we had the perfect spot. I wanted to follow Mike Smith (Warren's Showtime), because I thought his filly would be the one to beat. I knew my filly had a good chance because she was really fit. We got bottled up in her last race. Today, she got to run and she showed how good she is."
Left: Second place finisher California Kook in the paddock before the race. The Peter Miller trainee improved her record to 2 wins, 3 seconds, and 0 thirds in 8 starts, earning $167,762 for owner-breeders Wachtel Stable and Gary Barber.
Right: Third place finisher Warren's Showtime in the paddock. The Craig Lewis trainee improved her record to 5 wins, 0 seconds, and 5 thirds in 12 starts, earning $460,251 for owner-breeder Benjamin and Sally Warren.
Sixth place finisher and beaten favorite Laura's Light returns after the race. The Peter Miller trainee has a record of 5 wins, 1 second, and 0 thirds in 8 starts, earning $304,870 for owner Gary Barber.
Red King wins the Del Mar Handicap (G2)
Jockey Edwin Maldonado sent 81-1 Big Buzz to the lead around the first of three turns through fractions of 25.07 and 49.94 while pressed by 14-1 North County Guy and stalked by 19-1 Ward 'n Jerry. Down the backstretch Ward 'n Jerry poked his head in front through 3/4 in 1:15.09 before North County Guy took over on the far turn through 1 mile in 1:40.07. Turning for home, Red King, 8th early under Umberto Rispoli, came out 4 wide for room to take over the lead through 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.94. Kept to tas by Rispoli, Red King held off late-running favorite United to win by a head in 2:15.75. It was another 1/2 length back to 10-1 Originaire third.
Left: Red King in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Phil d'Amato said, "I could see going along the backstretch that Flavien (Prat on United) was on the inside and Umberto (Rispoli) was about to make that move on the outside. (Rispoli) timed it perfectly. I give all credit to him. After the last race he was so high on this horse. He chose Red King over Originaire and that gave me a lot of confidence that he felt the horse was climbing up the ladder and to win this race is really special."
Right: Red King in the paddock before the race. Winning jockey Umberto Rispoli said, "I didn't like how slow they were going, so I decided to move earlier today. It takes a really good horse to do that, but I knew he had the stamina. I did this when I was riding in Europe. It was close at the finish because he was trying to pull himself up. I am very happy. This horse gave me a Grade 3 win in his last start, and today he gave me a Grade 2. I want to keep it going with him."
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite United in the post parade. the Richard Mandella trainee improved his record to 6 wins, 4 seconds, and 1 third in 15 starts, earning $1,293,549 for owner LNJ Foxwoods.
Right: Third place finisher Originaire in the paddock before the race. The Jeff Mullins trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 5 seconds, and 5 thirds in 19 starts, earning $268,158 for owner BG Stables.
Chaos Theory wins the Green Flash Handicap (G3)
Jockey Ricardo Gonzalez sent Mikes Tiznow to lead through fracions of 22.65 and 45.02 while pressed by 11-1 Torosay and stalked by Baja Sur. Mikes Tiznow led to midstretch but Chaos Theory, 4th early under Umberto Rispoli, rallied 3 wide to win by 1 length over Baja Sur in 56.22. It was a nose back to Torosay third.
Left: Chaos Theory in the winner's circle. Winning trainer John Sadler said, "We've got a great grass sprint program in California and Santa Anita is actually adding a turf chute. So we have a variety of distances on the grass and this horse is kind of a specialist, 5, 5 1/2 furlongs so I thought he would be a great fit in California, that's why we brought him out. He's a good horse. We were pleased with his race today."
Right: Chaos Theory returns after the race. Winning jockey Umberto Rispoli said, "It was beautiful. He surprised me because he broke so sharply. I figured we'd be a little farther back, but it put us in a great spot just behind the speed. At this distance you can't get too far back. I had a lot of horse turning for home. I thought we'd get there."
Left: Second place finisher Baja Sur in the paddock before the race. The Blaine Wright trainee improved his record to 5 wins, 3 seconds, and 1 third in 10 starts, earning $176,520 for owners John and Janeane Maryanski and Gerald Schneider.
Right: Third place finisher Torosay in the paddock. The Doug O'Neill trainee improved his record to 1 win, 4 seconds, and 4 thirds in 11 starts, earning $123,243 for owner-breeder W.C. Racing, Milt Gilman, and Mark Verge.
Harvest Moon wins the Torrey Pines Stakes (G3)
Secret Keeper and 9-2 fourth choice Provocation battled for the lead through fractions of 22.13 and 45.93 while stalked by Harvest Moon and 24-1 Paige Anne. Turning for home Secret Keeper took over through 3/4 in 1:11.16 and 7f in 1:23.76. Harvest Moon came out for room and closed under Flavien Prat to win by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:36.87. It was a long 5 1/4 lengths back to Paige Anne third.
Left: Harvest Moon in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Simon Callaghan said, "We were delighted. This filly means a lot because I trained the mother, which gives it a little extra sentiment. She's an exciting, big filly that we've been super patient with and it's great that she's coming in to doing what she's doing."
Right: Harvest Moon in the post parade. Winning jockey Flavien Prat said, "It was perfect. She was nice and relaxed and I knew they were running very fast up front. She's got speed if you want it, though. Last time I hardly asked her to run. Today, she was just waiting on me. She won it very nicely."
Left: Second place finisher Secret Keeper in the paddock before the race. The Clifford Sise Jr. trainee improved her record to 2 wins and 1 second in 3 starts, earning $80,600 for owner-breeder Pam and Martin Wygod.
Right: Third place finisher Paige Anne in the paddock. The Simon Callaghan trainee improved her record to 2 wins, 1 second, and 4 thirds in 9 starts, earning $94,540 for owners Elie Feghali, Lori Feghali, Kimberly Mathiesen, and Mark Mathiesen.
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