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Del Mar Oaks, Handicap Top Sparkling Pacific Classic Undercard
Red King defeating United in the 2020 Del Mar Handicap (Credit: Benoit Photo)

Del Mar Oaks, Handicap Top Sparkling Pacific Classic Undercard

DEL MAR, CA – A pair of $300,000 offerings eligible to be a card-topper on any given day – the Del Mar Oaks (G1) for 3-year-old fillies and the Del Mar Handicap (G2) for 3-year-olds and up – will instead provide a first-rate undercard for Saturday’s TVG Pacific Classic Day at Del Mar.

The former is run at 9 furlongs on grass, while the latter goes at 1 3/8 miles on the green. Also on the agenda is another $300,000 special, the Del Mar Mile (G2) on the lawn. The fourth stakes is the $100,000 Torrey Pines (G3) for sophomore fillies traveling a mile on the dirt.

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The Oaks has lured a field of nine including a pair of shippers: Head of Plains Partners’ Fluffy Socks in from New York and Yuesheng Zhang’s Soaring Sky abroad from her native Ireland.

The key prep race for the Del Mar Oaks is the $150,000 San Clemente Stakes (G2), run at Del Mar at a mile on the turf on July 24. The 1-2-3 finishers from the race — Kaleem Shah’s Madone, Dubb, Gevertz, or Nentwig, et al’s Going Global, and Slam Dunk Racing or Platts’ Tetragonal – are all back to try their luck in the more demanding and more lucrative Oaks.

The Del Mar Handicap will bring out 10 competitors and sets up for a clash of titans between two of the best grass route horses in the country in LNJ Foxwoods’ United and Donegal Racing, Bulger, and Coneway’s Arklow. The likely battle royale will be a fitting nitecap to a delicious day of racing, as the pair of turf behemoths bring plenty of bragging rights to the race.

United, a 6-year-old gelding by Giant’s Causeway, has won 9 races and $1,675,549. He was second, beaten a head, in this race last year. Arklow also has won 9 races, but his bankroll goes past his chief rival at $2,755,746. The long-winded stretch kicker shipped to Del Mar last fall and made short work of the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) at 1 1/2 miles. Both runners will have their regular riders – Flavien Prat on United and Florent Geroux on Arklow.

The Del Mar Handicap is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge race that guarantees the winner all-expenses-paid admission into the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf, which will be run at Del Mar on Saturday, November 6.


Six will go hard and heavy at the classic flat mile in the Del Mar Mile, and each and everyone of them is a major stakes winner. Their purse earnings combine past the $5.4 million mark and they’re all seasoned racehorses eligible to fire a big shot Saturday.

In the Torrey Pines, seven will face the starter, each of them eyeing their first graded stakes score. The Fast Anna filly I’m So Anna has the most bragging rights in the group currently with a pair of Cal-bred stakes on her ledger and $289,740 in the bank.

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