Racing! Pacific Classic looking to be competitive – Los Angeles Times

Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as we hit some different topics.

We’re down to only one $1-million race for older horses in Southern California, and it comes up Saturday with the Pacific Classic at Del Mar.

There is no super horse in the race such as past years when the race was won by horses such as Accelerate, California Chrome, Beholder and Shared Belief.

But, there is a good mix of shippers to go along with the locals. The draw was Tuesday afternoon, and the favorite is 3-1. So, no one that knocked morning-line maker Russ Hudak off the theory this is a pretty balanced race.


Here’s the draw:

1. War Story (8-1), trainer Jorge Navarro, jockey Tiago Pereira

2. Quip (9-2), Rodolphe Brisset, Florent Geroux

3. Pavel (7-2), Doug O’Neill, Mario Gutierrez


4. For The Top (12-1), Bob Baffert, Martin Garcia

5. Seeking The Soul (3-1), Dallas Stewart, John Velazquez

6. Higher Power (8-1), John Sadler, Flavien Prat

7. Tenfold (8-1), Steve Asmussen, Mike Smith

8. Campaign (6-1), John Sadler, Rafael Bejarano

9. Mongolian Groom (20-1), Enebish Ganbat, Abel Cedillo

10. Draft Pick (20-1), Peter Eurton, Joe Talamo

Seeking The Soul, the favorite at 3-1, is coming off a victory in the Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs, a race in which Quip was second. Dallas Stewart was happy with drawing in the middle of the field (five).


“My horse is doing good,” Stewart said. “He’s training good and I expect a big race from him Saturday.”

Pavel is the second favorite at 7-2 and finished second in the race last year.

Quip is the third favorite at 9-2. In the 1 1/8-mile Stephen Foster, Quip was passed in the stretch by Seeking The Soul, but managing ownership partner Elliott Walden is not concerned.

“Go back and look at his gallop out,” Walden said from WinStar Farm in Kentucky. “I’ve got no worries about him making 1¼ miles.”

Quip has the same ownership group as Triple Crown winner Justify.

The Pacific Classic is the highlight of the best day of the meeting in which there are five graded stakes races.

Sad Del Mar news

Del Mar suffered its fourth training fatality on Monday when Bri Bri, an unraced 3-year-old filly broke her pelvis in a four-furlong workout. She was trained by Jim Cassidy, who also lost a horse during the Santa Anita meet. Del Mar had two fatalities in a freak accident July 17 when there was a head-on collision after a horse got loose. Trainer Bob Baffert lost a horse on July 29. There have been no racing fatalities. Tod Leonard of the San Diego Union-Tribune filed this story. Just click here.


Riding crop under attack

The Jockey Club this week offered a recommendation of eliminating the use of the riding crop except to avoid dangerous situations. However, the recommendation is more symbolic than real because The Jockey Club doesn’t have any authority in this area. It lies with each state regulatory board.

The move comes amid a national call for reform in the sport. You can find people on both sides of the argument as to the harm it does to a horse. Advocates for the riding crop, or whip, say the newest ones are just a noise maker to get a horse’s attention. Detractors point to the thinness of a horse’s skin and say it’s painful.

Pretty much everyone agrees that the optics of a jockey hitting a horse are not good. This was an item the California Horse Racing Board was taking up though talk about it has gone quiet. The guess here is that a modified version of using the whip, such as not being able to raise it over your shoulder, would be the end compromise.

California allows use of the riding crop three times before waiting for the horse to respond. New York has a 10-strike rule. Kentucky has no rule about the use of the whip.

Del Mar preview

All the good racing is being saved for the weekend, mostly Saturday, so Wednesday’s seven-race card is a bit on the pedestrian side. There are two turf races, three for maidens and four of the races are strictly for claimers. First post is 2 p.m.

The featured race is a five-furlong allowance on the turf for fillies and mares. It carries with it the high purse of the day of $67,000. Just Grazed Me, the favorite at 5-2, has a pretty good track record with three wins, three seconds and one third in seven races. She’s got one black type low-level stakes win. She is trained by Phil D’Amato and ridden by Geovanni Franco.

The second choice, at 7-2, is Gypsy Blu for Mark Glatt and Abel Cedillo. She is five-for-11 lifetime. Both of these horses ran in the Daisycutter Stakes with Just Grazed Me finishing third and Gypsy Blu was eighth. Both are Cal-breds. Post will be around 4:30 p.m.

Here are the field sizes, in order: 8, 7, 7, 9 (1 also eligible), 7, 8 (2 ae), 11.

Bob Ike’s Dmr pick of the day

SIXTH RACE: Exacta Box 5-8

I like two horses in this second-level allowance/optional claimer turf sprint, both coming off good efforts over the layout. Just Grazed Me (5-2) is the deserving favorite off a fine third-place comeback effort in the Daisycutter Handicap despite getting floated out late. Storming Lady (5-1) somehow won her third straight last out despite hopping in the air at start to surrender about four lengths out of the gate. She steps up but is razor sharp.

Sunday’s result: Give Me The Lute seemed loaded all the way around the course but could never find a place to run from the 1/4-pole to the wire and settled for a very unlucky fourth in Race 6.

Bob Ike is a Partner/VP of (here’s a video) and the proprietor of (full-card picks, 3 Best Plays and betting strategy).

Final thought

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Any thoughts, you can reach me at [email protected]. You can also feed my ego by following me on Twitter @jcherwa

Now, the star of the show, Wednesday’s entries.

Del Mar Entries for Wednesday, August 14.

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar, California. $2 Win, Place and Show; $1 Exacta, $2 Quinella, 50-cent Trifecta, $2 Rolling Double, 50-cent rolling Pick 3; 10-cent Superfecta; 50-cent Pick 4 last 4 races; 50-cent Players Pick 5 first 5 races; $2 Pick 6 last 6 races; $1 Place Pick All; $1 Super High Five last race. Trifecta needs 4 betting interests; Superfecta needs 6. 21st day of a 36-day meet.


5½ Furlongs. Purse: $28,000. Maiden Claiming. 2 year olds. Claiming Prices $40,000-$35,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Yha Yha J.C. Diaz, Jr. 113 Russell G. Childs 20-1 40,000
2 Little Cents Abel Cedillo 120 Bill McLean 3-1 40,000
3 Way Cool Brayan Pena 120 Mike Harrington 15-1 40,000
4 Shootin Money Eswan Flores 120 Philip A. Oviedo 10-1 40,000
5 Istain Man Ruben Fuentes 120 Luis Mendez 5-2 40,000
6 Deckology Mario Gutierrez 120 George Papaprodromou 2-1 40,000
7 Heraclitus Martin Pedroza 120 Simon Callaghan 4-1 40,000
8 Four O’Five Jorge Velez 113 Richard Baltas 20-1 40,000


6 Furlongs. Purse: $21,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Chirp Martin Pedroza 120 Leonard Powell 3-1 20,000
2 Sweet Bluegrass J.C. Diaz, Jr. 113 Daniel Dunham 10-1 20,000
3 Shesaidshesperfect Agapito Delgadillo 120 Tim McCanna 4-1 20,000
4 Taylor Gals Assael Espinoza 120 Vann Belvoir 5-1 20,000
5 Destiny’s Storm Mario Gutierrez 120 Dallas E. Keen 10-1 20,000
6 Vidalia Diego Sanchez 120 Karen Headley 8-1 20,000
7 Adulting Jorge Velez 113 Jeff Bonde 9-5 20,000


1 Mile. Purse: $40,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $32,000-$28,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Bellerin Drayden Van Dyke 120 Jeff Mullins 5-1 32,000
2 Fire When Ready Rafael Bejarano 120 Robert B. Hess, Jr. 8-1 32,000
3 Start a Runnin Eswan Flores 120 Hector O. Palma 10-1 32,000
4 Dukes Up Kent Desormeaux 120 Mark Glatt 3-1 32,000
5 Sheer Flattery Tiago Pereira 120 William Spawr 4-1 32,000
6 Bitter Ring Home Edwin Maldonado 120 Neil D. Drysdale 5-1 32,000
7 Rocko’s Wheel Ruben Fuentes 120 Philip D’Amato 5-2 32,000


1 1/16 Mile Turf. Purse: $36,000. Starter Allowance. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Smiling Rose Mario Gutierrez 118 George Papaprodromou 8-1
2 Roses and Candy Diego Sanchez 122 Ronald L. McAnally 20-1
3 Breezy Bee Rafael Bejarano 124 J. Keith Desormeaux 4-1
4 Magnificent Q T Assael Espinoza 122 James M. Cassidy 12-1
5 Heathers Grey Aaron Gryder 118 Michael W. McCarthy 4-1
6 Red Bunting Joseph Talamo 118 Ronald W. Ellis 8-1
7 Kittyhawk Lass Alonso Quinonez 120 Mike Puype 12-1
8 Flying to the Line Flavien Prat 120 Peter Miller 7-2
9 Equal Measure Kent Desormeaux 120 Robert B. Hess, Jr. 3-1


6 Furlongs. Purse: $32,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $50,000. State bred.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Calder Vale Edgar Payeras 120 Ricardo Zamora 12-1 50,000
2 Anniversary Sale Abel Cedillo 120 Jonathan Wong 7-2 50,000
3 Tim’s Buddy Geovanni Franco 120 Bill McLean 20-1 50,000
4 Etterbay Ucklay Joseph Talamo 120 Ronald W. Ellis 5-2 50,000
5 Afternoon Heat Jorge Velez 113 Jerry Hollendorfer 2-1 50,000
6 Atomic Candy Flavien Prat 120 Peter Miller 3-1 50,000
7 Brazilian Summer Ignacio Puglisi 120 Matthew Chew 15-1 50,000


5 Furlongs Turf. Purse: $67,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $62,500.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Querida Dubai Rafael Bejarano 120 Brian J. Koriner 10-1
2 Travieza Drayden Van Dyke 120 Doug F. O’Neill 4-1
3 Gypsy Blu Abel Cedillo 120 Mark Glatt 7-2
4 Littlefirefighter Flavien Prat 120 Richard E. Mandella 12-1
5 Just Grazed Me Geovanni Franco 120 Philip D’Amato 5-2
6 Uno Trouble Maker Tiago Pereira 122 William Spawr 6-1
7 Holly Hundy Kent Desormeaux 120 Vladimir Cerin 8-1
8 Storming Lady Victor Espinoza 122 Alfredo Marquez 5-1
Also Eligible
9 Sold It Mario Gutierrez 118 Doug F. O’Neill 10-1
10 Kentan Road Jorge Velez 115 John W. Sadler 5-1 62,500


5½ Furlongs. Purse: $21,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $8,000-$7,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 An Ocala Ten Jorge Velez 113 Peter Miller 5-2 7,000
2 Mister Mojo Rafael Bejarano 122 Ed Moger, Jr. 4-1 8,000
3 Nova Agapito Delgadillo 120 Rafael DeLeon 15-1 8,000
4 Boy Howdy Martin Pedroza 120 Jack Carava 3-1 8,000
5 Aberdeen Island J.C. Diaz, Jr. 113 Marcia Stortz 20-1 8,000
6 Johann’s Command Edgar Payeras 120 Richard Rosales 20-1 8,000
7 Papa Turf Abel Cedillo 120 Jeffrey Metz 4-1 8,000
8 Royal Seeker Ferrin Peterson 115 Marcelo Polanco 12-1 8,000
9 Westmont Geovanni Franco 120 Anthony K. Saavedra 6-1 8,000
10 Market Sentiment Assael Espinoza 120 Steve Knapp 20-1 8,000

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