Maximum Security an obvious pick in Pacific Classic

Del Mar’s signature race, the Grade I, $500,000 Pacific Classic, will be renewed this Saturday. MAXIMUM SECURITY stands out in this six-horse field, which will go 1 1/4-miles on the main track. Estimated post time for the Pacific Classic, Race 10 of 11 on Saturday at Del Mar, is 9:30 p.m. ET.

#5 MAXIMUM SECURITY (EVEN, morning-line favorite) is very hard to bet against in the Pacific Classic. Though he only won Del Mar’s Grade II San Diego Handicap by a scant nose over MIDCOURT last time out, trainer Bob Baffert indicated that the horse wasn’t fully-cranked for his first start since winning the inaugural Saudi Cup. MAXIMUM SECURITY should give a better effort in his second start off the bench. He should also relish the stretchout to 1 1/4-miles in here, as he crossed the wire first in his lone try at the distance – the controversial 2019 Kentucky Derby. Abel Cedillo rides once more.

#1 MIDCOURT (7-2) shook off a dismal effort (sans blinkers) in the Hollywood Gold Cup by nearly beating the top choice in the San Diego Handicap. There’s a lot to like about this horse who’s 3-2-1-0 over this course. MIDCOURT was a close third in his only other try at the 10-furlong distance – the Santa Anita Handicap earlier this year. Victor Espinoza has the call, as usual.

#2 HIGHER POWER (3-1) won the Pacific Classic in convincing fashion last year but is 0-for-5 since. He was beaten over six lengths by the top two in the San Diego Handicap last time out. However, his ability to handle this testing distance (third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, second in the Hollywood Gold Cup since the 2019 Pac Classic) should not be underrated. Flavien Prat will be in the irons on HIGHER POWER once again.

The play: $10 exacta 5/1

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