Pacific Classic Day Preview on August 19

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D.S. Williamson

August 18th, 2017

This Saturday, August 19, Arrogate attempts to ease the minds of his connections. The brilliant son of Unbridled's Song was horrendous in the San Diego Handicap. Arrogate tries to reestablish himself as the best horse in the world in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic on Saturday. His main rival from that race, Accelerate, runs in the Pacific Classic as well. Another Bob Baffert horse, Collected, will also try to win the Del Mar summer meet's signature race.

Before getting into the P. Classic, I preview the Del Mar Handicap. I also preview the Del Mar Oaks in this blog.

Race 7 - Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap

7/2 second choice Ashleyluvssugar should get plenty of play. Afterall, he won the 2016 Del Mar Handicap. But, Ashley doesn't often win at Del Mar. His record is 1 win and 4 second place finishes from 5 starts. I think it makes sense to look for a closer in this race since Ashley, along with Itsinthepost, Mr. Roary, and Prime Attraction, almost guarantees a fast pace.

Hunt, the 3/1 favorite who beat Ashleyluvssugar in the Eddie Read, is logical. The problem with Hunt is that he breaks from post-position 11. Also, the Eddie Read was at 1 1/8 miles.  The Del Mar Handicap is at 1 3/8 miles. Will Hunt like the added distance?

I like Liam the Charmer who's at 12 to 1 on the morning line. He was last seen finishing 8th in the United Nations at Monmouth on July 1. I think jockey Victor Espinoza gets the perfect trip with him along the rail. If Victor doesn't get boxed in, Liam might be the one coming on best in the stretch.

Race 8 - Grade 1 Pacific Classic

Arrogate is the chalk at even money. Forget about getting even money on Arrogate. Nobody cares that he didn't run a lick in the San Diego Handicap. He'll go off 3 to 5 in this if not 2 to 5.

I wrote a blog about how Arrogate might just be tired of being a racehorse. All athletes can get burnt out eventually.

That's why I'm not playing Arrogate in this race. I believe that the winner is 3/1 on the morning line Accelerate. Sometimes, horses just respond differently depending on who is on their back. Victor Espinoza put Accelerate right on the lead in the San Diego. He strolled to an easy win.

Victor can do the same thing this Saturday. Nobody in the race can keep up with Accelerate early. Not even the Bob Baffert trained Collected, whom I believe finishes second in this race.

I'll probably leave Arrogate off all my tickets. If he beats me, no worries. But, if I'm right and he's ready to hang it up, the payoffs could be fantastic.

Race 10 - Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks

Because of her Sandringham win at Royal Ascot in June, Con Te Partito has been listed as the 7/2 morning line chalk. She should go off at around 3 to 1 to win the Del Mar Oaks on August 19.

Am I on board? I'm not. Although I watched that race, and Con Te Partito did beat some talented European fillies on the square, the horse that finished second to her in that race, Rain Goddess, finished 8th in the Beverly D.

The field for the Del Mar Oaks is incredibly deep. I'm leaning towards the Simon Callaghan trained Beau Recall. I doubt Beau Recall goes off at her 6 to 1 morning line odds. She should be much lower, possibly at around 7/2 or 9/2.

Her 6th place finish to New Money Honey in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks in her last wasn't bad. Not only that, but great turf rider Joe Talamo takes the call. I'll build a few low-cost tickets around Beau Recall for the Del Mar Oaks on August 19.

Good luck!