Dullahan, third in this year's Kentucky Derby and the winner of the G1-Blue Grass Stakes, ran down favorite Game On Dude inside the final quarter mile to win the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar. The final time of the race, 1:59.54, was a new Del Mar record over the Polytrack.
The Del Mar surface is not Game On Dude's preferred going but the Bob Baffert trainee put in a huge performance and just missed winning his second grade 1 race of 2012 (Hollywood Gold Cup). But while he was defeated today, Game On Dude has bigger fish to fry as he trains towards the Breeders' Cup Classic. A return to the dirt at Santa Anita should return Game On Dude to his best form.
As for Dullahan, the connections now have several questions to answer as we inch closer to the fall racing season as he clearly prefers surfaces other than dirt. As a result, the Breeders' Cup Classic would seem to be a poor option going forward. Might they try the grass with Dullahan in anticipation of possibly running in the Breeders' Cup Turf? We'll have to wait and see.
Richard's Kid finished 3rd to round out the trifecta.
Dullahan is a three-year-old colt by Even the Score out of a Smart Strike mare (Mining My Own) and is a half-brother to Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird. He is trained by Dale Romans, owned by Donegal Racing and ridden by Joel Rosario.
In earlier action, Obviously (IRE) set a new track record while winning the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile Handicap over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course. Mr. Commons, wearing blinkers for the first time and with Brice Blanc in the irons, closed hard from the back and lost by a head at the wire.
The Irish-bred Obviously picks up her first graded stakes win and is now a sparkling 7-3-3-1 since shipping to Southern California from Europe.
Two races earlier, Capital Account picks up his first graded stakes win after winning the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien at seven furlong on the Polytrack.
Below are the payouts, fractions, internal splits and video replay for the Grade 1 Pacific Classic, along with the payouts and splits for the G2-Pat O'Brien and G2-Del Mar Mile Handicap.
|9-Game On Dude||$3.20||$2.40|
|G2-Del Mar Mile Handicap|
|G2-Pat O'Brien Stakes|