Del Mar Week 5 highlights
Racing is at its hottest during Week 6 at Del Mar.
The action begins Thursday, with a 16-day jackpot Pick 6 carryover of $1,645,118, and the week features seven graded stakes and two Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races, anchored by the Pacific Classic (G1).
Let's take a look at what has been happening at the seaside track leading up to its signature day of racing.
Last weekend’s highlights include a pair of stakes races on turf for fillies and mares — the CTT & TOC S. and the Solana Beach S. for California-breds.
Neige Blanche rallied to win the CTT & TOC, with a burst between horses in midstretch to win by a half-length for jockey Juan Hernandez and trainer Leonard Powell. The race was the French-bred four-year-old filly’s second stateside win and fifth of her career.
Pulpit Rider took the Solana Beach. Unhurried at the start, she rallied in the lane to get up by a nose. The bay mare paid $16.60 to win. She was ridden by Flavien Prat for trainer Mike Puype.
Breeders' Cup berths on the line
Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” action returns to Del Mar on Saturday.
The Pacific Classic is a qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), and the winner of the Del Mar H. (G2) will secure an entry into the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1).
Saturday’s five graded stakes also include the Del Mar Oaks (G1), Del Mar Mile (G2), and Torrey Pines S. (G3).
Pacific Classic field is set
Nine horses will vie for a share of $1 million in Pacific Classic.
Express Train, who has already earned a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Classic with a win in San Diego H. (G2), is the slight favorite on the morning line. The John Shirreffs trainee has only finished worse than fourth once in his 12-race career, but that happened when he tried turf, and the bay colt has three wins at Del Mar.
Multiple graded stakes winner Dr Post, who has been stabled at Saratoga, will make the cross-country trip for trainer Todd Pletcher. He will be ridden by Joel Rosario, a three-time Del Mar riding champion who now is based on the East Coast.
A stumble at the start severely compromised Magic On Tap's chances in the San Diego, and he was fresh from a win in the Triple Bend S. (G2) at Santa Anita.
Trainer Richard Mandella will send out Tizamagician, the winner of the Cougar II S. (G3). Tripoli, Royal Ship, Independence Hall, Sheriff Brown, and Cupid’s Claws round out the field.