The 44-year-old Pereira, a native of Brazil, expertly guided Tripoli to a 11/4-length victory in the $1 million Pacific Classic to give trainer John Sadler and the 4-year-old Kitten’s Joy colt’s owners, Hronis Racing, their third victory in the track’s signature race in the past four years.
Pacesetter Tizamagician – one of two runners for trainer Richard Mandella – finished second under leading rider Flavien Prat, 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner, with Todd Pletcher-trained East Coast invader Dr Post rallying to be third under Joel Rosario in the field of nine older runners. Sheriff Brown was fourth, followed by Independence Hall, 2-1 favorite Express Train, 5-2 second choice Royal Ship, Cupid’s Claws and Magic on Tap.
Tripoli, a 4-year-old colt by Kitten’s Joy out of Love Train, by Tapit, covered 1 1/4 miles on a fast track in 2:02.37. He paid $15 for his fourth win in 14 starts and first added-money victory.
The victory was the first in a North American Grade 1 race for Pereira, a 44-year-old native of Brazil who came to the U.S. in 2014. Winner of more than 2,000 races prior to his arrival in the U.S., his biggest win came in the $10 million Dubai World Cup in 2010 aboard Gloria De Campeao.
Jockey Tiago Pereira said:
Trainer John Sadler told me before the race to be careful, because there were a lot of runners who had a similar style of running, Pareira said. “So, I was okay running right behind the leaders. When it was time to run, I had plenty of horse. But once we got in front, he started looking around, waiting on other horses. I looked around and knew we were not going to get caught. This was my only mount today, so I was really focused. I am so happy.”
“He looked good all the way,” said Sadler. “He broke on his feet so (jockey Tiago Pereira) was able to tuck him in there and he looked comfortable all the way around. When (Independence Hall) started to slow up we were in a good spot. He had a perfect trip, give the rider a lot of credit. He rode him perfectly.”
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