The Pacific Classic this Saturday at Delmar has drawn it's usual strong field despite a few last minute defections that would've made the race even more contentious. This is a win and you're in race for the Breeders Cup Classic so all the top horses try to fit this one on their dance card.
It looks like the field has narrowed down to eight and one of them will be heavily favored, but there are a couple of other options if you think the favorite can be beaten.
Lets look at the field.
1. The Lieutenant
He ran an absolutely fantastic race in the Suburban. In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that I gave him no chance that day. Why do I think the race was so good when he was beaten almost seven lengths by Diversify? Well, Diversify freaked that day, and I don't think there is a horse in training that could've handled him. Diversify was sitting on ready and he demolished the field, but The Lieutenant ran his race and beat everybody else.
Since Diversify came back and won the Whitney at Saratoga in the same front running style, it only makes The Lieutenant look better by comparison alone. I give this horse a big shot and he is my pick to win. For that to happen, Dr. Dorr and one or two others will have to push Accelerate on the front end by getting on the accelerator themselves, but I think it can happen. The Lieutenant will be passing them all late and I'm hoping he can go by Accelerate too.
2. Dr. Dorr
He is the main speed in here and he will be the one to catch. Front runners who clear are always dangerous, but I don't think Prime Attraction or Accelerate is going to let this one get loose. He'll have the lead for sure, but I will be surprised if Accelerate is not right on his shoulder from the git-go. I don't think the good doctor can wire this field. I'd say take two aspirin and call me in the morning. I'll pass.
3. Prime Attraction
He will be up on the pace fighting it out with Dr. Dorr. His mission, if he decides to accept it, is to put away Dr. Dorr on the front, hold off Accelerate when he comes with his push, then fight off The Lieutenant when he comes cruising late. Hmmm....there is a reason why they call them impossible missions. I'll pass.
4. Roman Rosso
The wild card! These South American killers are extremely dangerous and Baffert is working him hard the same way he does with all his horses. I'd be surprised if this horse does not make his presence felt at some point and he will be on all my tickets.
The likely and deserving favorite. He always shows up and he will show up here. He has to be on your tickets, but this is not as easy as it looks. He has to put away the two speeds inside him, hold off a mid race challenge from Roman Rosso, and open up enough so The Lieutenant doesn't get him late.
He is a top quality horse and he just may get all that done, but I'm going with The Lieutenant in a major upset.
6. Beach View
I keep looking at him and wondering what they are thinking. He won a mile and a half race that was run in 2:34 where they came home in 54 seconds for the final half. How can he possibly compete with these horses? I don't see it.
He won the Stephen Foster on cruise control after a series of dull efforts prior. That race was set up perfectly for him, but the truth is he'll get a similar setup in here. I just can't get by the fact that Accelerate always seems to handle him easily. Even if he manages to put away Accelerate, can he handle The Lieutenant late? I'm going to say he can't repeat that Stephen Foster, but I can't argue with those who think he can. It was a nice race, but I'm going to pass.
8. Two Thirty-Five
He could not beat Dr. Dorr in the San Diego and I don't think he'll beat him here. He might not beat the other six horses either. I'll pass.
There you have it! Accelerate, Pavel, and Roman Rosso will take all the money. Accelerate will take a world of beating and would certainly surprise no one, but I'm going with The Lieutenant. Maybe it's because I was in the Air Force many years ago, who knows? I'll use Accelerate and Roman Rosso in my combinations. Good Luck to all who play!