This August 21st Del Mar will host two Breeders’ Cup races and Horse Racing Tote brings you Del Mar Handicap and the Pacific Classic preview, take a look and pick your favorite!

The Pacific Classic

The Pacific Classic is one of America’s great races, and although this year there are no great horses in the $1,000,000 Grade 1 over ten furlongs on Del Mar’s main track, no Lava Man, Game On Dude, Beholder or California Chrome, there is instead a deep, competitive field for Saturday’s feature.

At first – and second – glance the race is a simple re-run of the Grade 2 San Diego at Del Mar a month ago, in which Express Train (3-1) stayed close to the pace throughout and held on gamely to beat Tripoli (5-1) by half a length, with Royal Ship (7-2) third, Magic On Tap (20-1) fifth and Sheriff Brown (30-1) seventh. He spotted weight to all except Royal Ship, who is a pound better off here for the length and a quarter he was beaten. In their previous meeting, Royal Ship was more than four lengths ahead of Express Train when they were second and third in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup, which suggests that Royal Ship is our man, but on the other side of the ledger, Express Train is 3-4 at Del Mar while the ex-Brazilian is 0-3.

Others in the mix are New York shipper Dr Post (4-1), last year’s Belmont Stakes runner-up and Haskell third but a little bit below that level in 2021, and Tizamagician (5-1), a Grade 3 winner here last month (Cupid’s Claws (15-1) runner-up), but it’s hard to believe the winner won’t come from the San Diego and Express Train, who has been knocking on the door at Grade 1 level (second, third and fourth), can use his Del Mar key to unlock it this time.

HorseJockeyOdds courtesy of Jazzsports
TRIPOLITiago Josue Pereira+500
TIZAMAGICIANFlavien Prat +500
DR POSTJoel Rosario+400
ROYAL SHIPMike E. Smith +350
EXPRESS TRAINJuan J. Hernandez +300
MAGIC ON TOP Abel Cedillo +2000
INDEPENDENCE HALLFlorent Geroux +500
SHERIFF BROWNEdwin A. Maldonado +3000
CUPID’S CLAWS Umberto Rispoli+1500

Del Mar Handicap

Richard Mandella, who may or may not be out of luck with Royal Ship, sends tough turf campaigner United for the $300,000 Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap over a mile and three furlongs in a bid to follow up his game success in last month’s Grade 2 Eddie Read here. United has never been out of the first two in five starts at Del Mar, including when beaten a head by Red King in this race 12 months ago. Red King hasn’t won since and is 2lb worse off with United for that narrow winning margin.

HorseJockeyOdds courtesy of Jazzsports
MEDIA BLITZUmberto Rispoli+3000
RED KINGJoel Rosario+800
UNITEDFlavien Prat+200
MASTER PIECEDrayden Van Dyke+1500
ACCLIMATE Ricardo Gonzalez+1000
ARKLOWFlorent Geroux +250
AWARD WINNER Juan J. Hernandez+1500
ASTRONAUT Victor Espinoza +2000
SAY THE WORLDJoe Bravo+600

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