This past weekend Del Mar Racetrack hosted two Win and You’re In races, Pacific Classic and Del Mar Handicap, Horse Racing Tote brings you the Recap in case you missed it!

Pacific Classic

If, as they say, two out of three ain’t bad, then three out of four is pretty good. The winner’s circle after Del Mar’s signature showpiece had a very familiar look to it.

Trainer John Sadler and owners Kosta and Pete Hronis were there in 2018 with Accelerate and in 2019 with Higher Power, and after a year off to give everyone else a chance they were back there again on Saturday, when Tripoli was the name in lights. The four-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy had sat behind the pace set by Tizamagician until running him down at the eighth pole, clearing away in deep stretch under Tiago Pereira to win by a length and a quarter.

“The last three or four races, he’s improving,” said Sadler. “He’s trending the right way. He got an ideal trip, give the rider a lot of credit. It was worth giving him a try on dirt because it gives you twice as many races.”

Tripoli – a turf runner until being switched to dirt in June – stopped the clock in 2:02 and two-fifths and paid out at $15, his efforts earning him a ‘win-and-you’re-in’ berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic over the same track and trip in November, although his participation there may depend on plans for stablemate Rock Your World. Tizamagician had plenty in the tank to retain second place, holding off the closing Dr Post by four and a half lengths.

Del Mar Handicap

Sometimes you have to shoot for the moon, and Astronaut rewarded trainer John Shirreffs’ boldness by pulling off an upset victory, the first stakes success of his career and a ‘win-and-in’ for the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Astronaut had a clear route on the outside of the field under Victor Espinoza, who drove him to the lead at the sixteenth pole and then saw off the late challenge of Master Piece by half a length in a tick under 2:16, giving his few supporters a $50 windfall at the windows.

Long-time leader Acclimate held on gamely for third, a neck further back.

“I know my odds didn’t look like it, but in my mind I had a chance to win,” said Espinoza. “He was very impressive.”

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