Game On Dude Faces Dozen In $1 Million Pacific Classic
Game On Dude, the number one ranked older male Thoroughbred in America by virtue of his brilliant record of accomplishment, is the 5-2 morning line favorite versus a dozen rivals in the Grade I $1 million Pacific Classic Sunday at Del Mar.
The Pacific Classic, at the championship distance of a mile and one-quarter over Del Mar’s Polytrack surface, is carded as the ninth of eleven races, with a special post-time of 1 p.m. for the first race.
Game On Dude, the richest horse in training in the Western Hemisphere with earnings of $5,002,158, will have the services of America’s leading rider, Joel Rosario, as he attempts to add the Pacific Classic to a list of victories this year that includes the Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup. The only horse to accomplish the unique feat in the same year was Lava Man in 2006.
Sunday will mark his third attempt to win the Pacific Classic, having finished fourth to Acclamation in 2011 and second, beaten a half-length by Dullahan, a year ago.
The six-year-old Bob Baffert-trained gelding has won 14 of 26 career starts.
Among Game On Dude’s foes Sunday will be the defending champion, Dullahan, who will have Rafael Bejarano in the irons. Others in the line-up are Endorsement, Julien Leparoux; Liaison, Martin Garcia; Holding Glory, Chantal Sutherland-Kruse; Farraaj, Garrett Gomez; You Know I Know, Edwin Maldonado; two-time Pacific Classic winner Richard’s Kid, Joe Talamo; Kettle Corn, Victor Espinoza; the filly Byrama, Gary Stevens; Delegation, Luis Contreras; grass star Jeranimo, Corey Nakatani, and Blueskiesnrainbows, Martin Pedroza.
All horses carry 124 pounds, with the exception of the filly Byrama, who will pack five pounds less.
The Pacific Classic is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” with the winner receiving an expense free berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Saturday, Nov. 2.
Supporting features Sunday will be the Grade II $200,000 Del Mar Mile at a mile on the grass showcasing the brilliant Obviously and the Grade II $250,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes at seven furlongs on the main track. Like the Pacific Classic, the Pat O’Brien is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race with the winner earning a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.