There’s nothing quite like summertime at Del Mar, and the race meet reaches its peak on TVG Pacific Classic day this Saturday. Accelerate tops a field of older horses expected to square off in the million-dollar race at the seaside track.
Read on for 10 fun facts about this year’s race.
1. The Pacific Classic is part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, which means the winner of the Pacific Classic gets an expense-paid berth into the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3.
2. This year is the 28th running of the Pacific Classic. It was first run in 1991.
3. Three horses each have repeat victories in the race: Tinners Way (1994 and 1995), Skimming (2000 and 2001), and Richard’s Kid (2009 and 2010).
4. Last year a cool $24,929,219 was bet on Pacific Classic day, the second-highest for any non-Breeders’ Cup day at the track.
5. Beholder became the first and only female racehorse to win the race in 2015, when she rolled to a near-record 8 ¼ length win. Just four other fillies have started in the race.
6. Trainer Bob Baffert has won the race five times, most recently with Collected last year. He could tie the late Bobby Frankel with six if Roman Rosso, Dr. Dorr, or Mubtaahij runs and wins on Saturday.
7. Three horses have each made four starts in the Pacific Classic: Richard’s Kid (won in 2009 and 2010), Game On Dude (won in 2013), and Awesome Gem.
9. The betting favorite has won the Pacific Classic just eight times, but seven of those times came since 2004.