Del Mar’s annual showcase race, the Grade I, $1 million Pacific Classic, is set for Saturday. The 1 1/4-mile heat drew a field of 10, led by Stephen Foster exacta finishers SEEKING THE SOUL and QUIP. Post time for the prestigious Pacific Classic, Race 10 of 11 on the day, is estimated for 9:30 p.m. ET.
#2 QUIP (9-2) was beaten just a neck by SEEKING THE SOUL in the Stephen Foster when last seen, running his fastest race to date. However, the Foster was run at Churchill Downs, SEEKING THE SOUL’s “home track.” The well-traveled QUIP seems to fire just about everywhere as long as the ground is fast. That’s exactly what he should get at Del Mar on Saturday. The speedy son of Distorted Humor should take the Pacific Classic at a nice price. Florent Geroux rides.
#5 SEEKING THE SOUL (3-1, morning-line favorite) ended a five-race losing streak in the Stephen Foster last time out, narrowly prevailing over QUIP. However, the deep-closing son of Perfect Soul has been hit-or-miss in his career outside of Churchill Downs and he’s run just once at 1 1/4-miles, finishing a non-threatening eighth in the Dubai World Cup this year. SEEKING THE SOUL is not projected to get a fast pace in front of him either, so there are plenty of things working against the morning-line favorite in the Pacific Classic. John Velazquez will be aboard once more.
#9 MONGOLIAN GROOM (20-1) was getting to a softened-up Catalina Cruiser in the 1 1/16th-mile San Diego Handicap last month. That was his second in-the-money finish at Del Mar in three starts to date. MONGOLIAN GROOM has competed twice at the Pacific Classic distance and hit the board once. There are worse longshots to use underneath in this heat. Abel Cedillo maintains the assignment.
#8 CAMPAIGN (8-1) moves up in the event of a scratch. He took the 1 1/2-mile Cougar II Handicap over this course when last seen. The consistent son of Curlin will have Rafael Bejarano in the irons.
The play: $7 win 2, 50 cent trifecta box 2/5/9 ($10)
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