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California Chrome Draws Rail for Pacific Classic

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

America’s top racehorse – California Chrome – drew Post No. 1 and was installed as the 8/5 morning line favorite Tuesday for this Saturday’s $1,000,000 TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar.

Among the eight rivals who will face him in the 26th edition of the mile and one-quarter Classic is Beholder, America’s top racemare and the defending champion in the prestigious headliner that is the west’s richest race for older horses and the signature event of the seaside course’s summer race meeting.

Beholder drew Post No. 7 and was listed at 3-1 on line maker Russell Hudak’s board.

Joining the top two is the multiple-stakes winner Dortmund, the huge 4-year-old who gave California Chrome a stout test in the San Diego Handicap here July 23 in the big colt’s first outing in nearly eight months. He drew Post No. 8 and was actually hung as the second choice at 5/2.

The TVG Pacific Classic “Draw” took place at the popular Brigantine restaurant, which sits on a hill between the racetrack below it and the Pacific Ocean behind it.  Connections for all the horses, racing officials and media members took part in the annual event.

The TVG Pacific Classic will be the ninth of 11 races Saturday with a 2 p.m. first post. Two other major stakes will add sparkle to the card – the Grade I, $300,000 Del Mar Oaks at nine furlongs on grass and the Grade II, $200,000 Del Mar Handicap Presented by The Japan Racing Association at 11 furlongs on grass.

Both the TVG Pacific Classic and the Del Mar Handicap are Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races — the Classic giving automatic admission to the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Handicap to the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

This highly anticipated “battle of the sexes” between 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome and the three-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder has been building for months as the two champion horses went about their racing business. “Chrome” put major polish his resume by winning the $10-million Dubai World Cup in March and now has over $12.6 million in earnings, a record for a North American-based horse. Beholder had made her special mark with her spectacular tally in this same Pacific Classic last year over nine male rivals by more than eight lengths in a final time – 1:59.77 – that was the fastest ever run by a female on dirt at the distance.

Dortmund, who won the Santa Anita Derby and was third in the Kentucky Derby last year, stepped into the Pacific Classic mix with his gutsy comeback race in the San Diego and has the speed, class and conditioning to be extremely dangerous Saturday.

The others in the lineup are local handicap stars Hoppertunity, Hard Aces and Imperative; the sharp 3-year-old Dalmore; the up-and-coming Win the Space, and the invading War Story.

Here’s the TVG Pacific Classic lineup in Post Position order:

Post Position Horse/Jockey Morning Line Odds
1 CALIFORNIA CHROME
Victor Espinoza
8/5
2 HOPPERTUNITY
Flavien Prat
8-1
3 WAR STORY
Ricardo Mejias
30-1
4 HARD ACES
Santiago Gonzalez
15-1
5 WIN THE SPACE
Joe Talamo
15-1
6 IMPERATIVE
Noberto Arroyo, Jr.
20-1
7 BEHOLDER
Gary Stevens
3-1
8 DORTMUND
Rafael Bejarano
5/2
9 DALMORE
Kent Desormeaux
20-1

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

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