Del Mar Report #6: California Chrome Shines in Pacific Classic

California Chrome wins Pacific Classic - Chris Aplin
Chris Aplin

Three Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: CALIFORNIA CHROME – The race of the year turned into the laugher of the year!  California Chrome gave us a performance in the Pacific Classic that rivals anything we’ve seen in recent memory.  Breaking from the rail Chrome went straight to the lead, and controlled this race every step of the way.  Fantastic horses such as Beholder and Dortmund began to make their move at the top of the stretch, and couldn’t gain an INCH on California Chrome while he was not even being asked to run!  This type of performance in a race of this quality rarely happens…Saturday was about as special as it gets.  After this race there is no doubt California Chrome is heading for another Horse of the Year honor, and it doesn’t look like their is a horse in training anywhere in the world that can beat him.

– 2nd Star: ASHLEYLUVSSUGAR – Saturday’s Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap featured a tremendous finish as the pace setter Ashleyluvssugar just barely held on to defeat a fast closing Metaboss by a head.  Ashleyluvssugar was able to control the race on the front end and looked home free, but Metaboss made things interesting with a tremendously wide move that just fell short.  The winner has turned into a really nice horse that shows up in all the big California turf events, and always puts in a solid effort.

– 3rd Star: HARMONIZE – Don’t ever doubt Bill Mott when he ships across country to Del Mar!  The Hall of Fame trainer has done quite well when he heads to the west coast, and Harmonize just added to that list Saturday when winning the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks.  After sitting off the pace for much of the race Harmonize was able to grind away at the leaders late in the stretch passing Stays in Vegas while also holding off Decked Out to win by a head.  Harmonize certainly has shown flashes of talent coming into this race, but seemed to really put it all together Saturday.  More graded stakes races will be in store for her in the future.

Flop of the Week

SENSITIVELY – She was sent off as the favorite against a very tough bunch in Wednesday’s featured Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap, but she was burnt up early and finished last.  Perhaps this test was a little too tough, and a class drop is in order next time out.

Trainer Standings Jockey Standings
1. Phillip D’Amato – 16 1. Flavien Prat – 28
2. Bob Baffert – 12 2. Rafael Bejarano – 25
2. Richard Baltas – 12 3. Santiago Gonzalez – 23
4. Peter Miller – 10 4. Kent Desormeaux – 17
5. John Sadler – 9 5. Tyler Baze – 15
5. Mark Glatt – 9 6. Victor Espinoza – 14
7. Michael Machowsky – 8 7. Stewart Elliott – 12
8. Doug O’Neill – 7 8. Norberto Arroyo – 10
8. James Cassidy – 7 9. Gary Stevens – 9

Preview to Next Week

Wed. Aug. 24th Harry F. Brubaker Stakes
Three-year-olds & up
$75,000 Added
1 Mile
$100,000 Guaranteed
1 Mile
Fillies, Two-year-olds, Cal-Bred
$150,000 Guaranteed
6 Furlongs
Sat. Aug. 27th PAT O’BRIEN STAKES (Gr. II)
Three-year-olds & up
$200,000 Guaranteed
7 Furlongs
Fillies, Three-year-olds
$100,000 Guaranteed
1 Mile
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