By the Numbers: Pacific Classic Stakes

Beholder in 2015 became the first female to win the Pacific Classic Stakes, which she won by 8 1/4 lengths. (Eclipse Sportswire)

The 30th running of the TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar will be contested on Saturday, Aug. 22. Here is a look back at some interesting facts from the history of this important 1 ¼-mile race.  

1 – Only one female horse and one female jockey have won the Pacific Classic. Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone rode Candy Ride to victory in 2003. Four-time champion Beholder, trained by Richard Mandella and ridden by Gary Stevens, won the Pacific Classic in 2015 and then finished second behind California Chrome in 2016.

Candy Ride scored by 3 1/4 lengths in 2003 Pacific Classic. (BENOIT photo)

2 – Argentinian-bred winners: The aforementioned Candy Ride, trained by Ron McAnally, and Gentlemen in 1997, ridden by Gary Stevens and trained by Richard Mandella. Mirinaque, owned and trained by Maria Muñoz, will attempt to become the third, piloted by jockey T. J. Pereira.

3 – Dual Pacific Classic winning horses: Tinners Way (1994, 1995) and Skimming (2000, 2001) were both conditioned by the late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel. Richard’s Kid (2009, 2010) was trained by fellow Hall of Famer Bob Baffert.

4 – Most victories by an owner: International power Juddmonte Farms has had eight Pacific Classic Starters, four wins, two seconds, and one third. Two of the aforementioned dual winners were responsible for the four victories – Tinners Way and Skimming. Mike Smith and the late Garrett Gomez share the record for most wins by a jockey, each also with four.

5 – Three-year-old winners. The Pacific Classic is an event for horses ages three and older. In the 29 editions of the race to date, the only 3-year-olds winners were Best Pal (1991); General Challenge (1999); Came Home (2002); Dullahan (2012); and Shared Belief (2014). The oldest horses to win were age 6 – Pleasantly Perfect (2004) and Game On Dude (2013).

6 – Most wins by a trainer: Robert J. “Bobby” Frankel leads all trainers by total wins as well as consecutive victories in the Pacific Classic. The first four were in 1992 with Missionary Ridge; 1993 with Bertrando; and 1994 and 1995 with Tinners Way. His wins in 2000 and 2001 were with Skimming.

7 – Number of dark bay or brown winners. Chestnuts and bays have accounted for the most Pacific Classic victories with 11 and 10, respectively, with only a single gray or roan winner.

8(.7) – Average field size. The average number of horses to run in each of the previous 29 Pacific Classics is 8.7. The field for the 2020 event is six.

9 – General Challenge. In his ninth career start, California-bred General Challenge won the 9th running of the Pacific Classic in 1999. He competed in 21 races throughout his career, winning a total of nine times. He was the first of five Pacific Classic winners trained by Bob Baffert, who this year sends out Maximum Security.

10 – Present day. The 2020 TVG Pacific Classic is race 10 at Del Mar Saturday, contested at 1 ¼ miles for a purse of $500,000.

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