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2023 Pacific Classic Preview & FREE Picks | Geaux Rocket Ride Favored In BC Classic Prep
Geaux Rocket Ride (Scott Serio/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

2023 Pacific Classic Preview & FREE Picks | Geaux Rocket Ride Favored In BC Classic Prep

Aaron previews the 2023 Pacific Classic (G1) from Del Mar, then gives his top picks & long shots from this “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The Haskell Stakes (G1) champion Geaux Rocket Ride is the slight morning line favorite over fellow 3-year-old Arabian Knight, who was 3rd in the Haskell.

Will either sophomore beat his elders in this tough 1 1/4-mile test? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!

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The press release:

The 33rd edition of the FanDuel Racing Pacific Classic drew 11 runners Tuesday for Saturday’s headliner and – for the first time – the mile and a quarter for 3-year-olds and up attracted three 3-year-olds, any of whom could have a big say in the outcome of the $1,000,000 headliner.

As per usual, the Draw and post position assignments took place at the popular Brigantine Restaurant on the hill overlooking the racetrack where owners, trainers and jockeys for the 11 runners gathered with racing officials and Del Mar staff.

A pair of the 3-year-olds – Pin Oak Stud’s Geaux Rocket Ride and Zedan Racing Stables’ Arabian Knight – were on top of the list for the Classic’s morning line with the former – winner of the $1-million Haskell Stakes vs. 3-year-olds at Monmouth Park in New Jersey last out on July 22 – penciled in as the favorite at 5/2 and his 3-year-old rival, who finished third in the Haskell, next in line at 3-1.

Geaux Rocket Ride, who will be ridden once again by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, drew Post 1, while “Knight” has Del Mar’s former top rider, Flavien Prat, in the tack and they’ll start from Post 9.

The third soph – C R K Stable’s Skinner, stakes-placed in his last three outings – is 10-1 in the morning line and he and rider Hector Berrios will come out of Post 11.

The Pacific Classic will be the lead item on an 11-race, five-stakes racing card that will offer more than $2.3-million in purses, as well as a pair of “Win and You’re In” opportunities for this year’s Breeders’ Cup, notably the $6-million BC Classic for the Pacific Classic winner.

Five 3-year-olds have won the Pacific Classic since its inception in 1991, most recently by the late Shared Belief in 2014. The younger horses get a six-pound weight break as they carry 118 pounds while the older horses must pack 124.

First post for the Saturday program is 1:30 p.m.

Here’s the FanDuel Racing Pacific Classic lineup in post position order with riders and morning line odds:

Post PositionHorse/JockeyMorning Line Odds
1Geaux Rocket Ride
Mike E. Smith
Antonio Fresu
3Stilleto Boy
Kent J. Desormeaux
Tiago J. Pereira
Juan J. Hernandez
6Order and Law
Edwin Maldonado
7Slow Down Andy
Mario Gutierrez
8Senor Buscador
Geovanni Franco
9Arabian Knight
Flavien Prat
Umberto Rispoli
Hector I. Berrios