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DEL MAR, CA – After stalking Tizamagician‘s pace throughout the early going, Tripoli overtook him in the stretch and held safe to giave owner Hronis Racing and trainer John Sadler their third score in 4 years in Saturday’s $1 million TVG Pacific Classic Stakes (G1) at Del Mar.
The Pacific Classic is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Tripoli receiving an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar this November.
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Tizamagician hustled to the lead under Flavien Prat as Tripoli and jockey Tiago Pereira – sent from the rail at 6/1 – tucked in behind in third.
Independence Hall pressed Tizamagician through fractions of :23.52, :46.98, 1:11.73, and 1:36.88 for the opening mile as Tripoli saved ground down the backstretch and into the far turn.
Pereira tipped Tripoli out near the 1/4 pole and sent him after Tizamagician, inching up to take the lead before holding safely in the stretch.
Though Tizamagician refused to yield and fought back gamely on the rail, Tripoli crossed 1 1/4 lengths clear while completing the 1 1/4-mile fast dirt route in 2:02.37.
“John told me before the race to be careful because there were a lot of runners who had a similar style of running, so I was okay running right behind the leaders,” Pereira said after winning his second career Grade 1 following the 2010 Dubai World Cup with Gloria de Campeao. “When it was time to run, I had plenty of horse, but once we got in front, he started looking around, waiting on other horses. I looked around and knew we were not going to get caught. This was my only mount today, so I was really focused. I am so happy.”
After trailing the field early, Dr Post and Sheriff Brown passed tiring rivals in the stretch to take third and fourth, respectively, though they were 4 1/2 lengths behind Tizamagician.
Independence Hall, the 2/1 favorite Express Train, Royal Ship, Cupid’s Claws, and Magic On Tap completed the order of finish.
Tripoli’s win was his second in 3 starts on dirt after beginning his career with a line of 11-2-2-3 on turf and followed a 1/2-length runner-up effort in the local 1 1/16-mile San Diego Handicap (G2) behind Express Train. The 4-year-old Kitten’s Joy colt, purchased for $450,000 as a yearling, increased his career bankroll to $811,960 after cashing $600,000 for the win.
“It feels great to win it again and you’ve got to give all the credit to the barn,” said Kosta Hronis, who co-owns with his brother Pete and also campaigned the 2018 (Accelerate) and 2019 (Higher Power) race champions. “Tiago rode a great race. It’s the only race he rode today because he wanted to focus on it. This horse has matured and just keeps coming along, and today, he proved himself. We didn’t know if he could go a mile and 1/4, but today we found out.”
Tripoli returned $15 to win, $7.80 to place, and $4.80 to show. Tizamagician brought back $7.60 to place and $5.20 to show. Dr Post paid $4.20 to show.
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