Rock Your World Among Nominees To Pacific Classic

The nomination deadline passed at midnight on Thursday for the five major stakes a week from Saturday at Del Mar. And when the racing office had finished sorting them out this morning, there were 15 horses on the list for the summer season’s signature Grade 1, $1 million TVG Pacific Classic.

Most were expected. But one not-exactly-expected name figures to generate interest and speculation leading up to next Tuesday’s close of entries and post position draw. That would be Santa Anita Derby winner Rock Your World, trained by John Sadler for Hronis Racing, the connections who notched back-to-back TVG Pacific Classic wins with Accelerate in 2018 and Higher Power in 2019.

Sadler has indicated since the start of the meeting that Rock Your World, a 3-year-old son of Candy Ride, was being targeted for the Grade 2, $250,000 Del Mar Derby Presented by Caesars Sporsbook on Sept. 4, in what would be a return to turf after three starts on dirt – a victory in the Santa Anita Derby followed by Triple Crown event disappointments in the Kentucky Derby (17th) and Belmont Stakes (6th).

The Pacific Classic has been won by 3-year-olds over older horses five times. Best Pal’s victory in the inaugural running in 1991 was followed by General Challenge (1999), Came Home (2002), Dullahan (2012) and Shared Belief (2014). Under race conditions, 3-year-olds carry 118 pounds while older horses tote 124.

Sadler did not immediately respond to a text inquiry regarding Rock Your World but had, earlier in the morning, confirmed another TVG Pacific Class entrant from the stable.

San Diego Handicap runner-up Tripoli went six furlongs in 1:12.80 this morning under exercise rider Cerapio Figueroa to Sadler’s satisfaction in a final tune-up for the event.

Sadler said he had the son of Kitten’s Joy, a $450,000 purchase at the Keeneland September sale in 2018 for Hronis Racing, galloping out to seven furlongs in 1:24.80.

“I was pleased with it, he’s set for the Classic,” Sadler said. Tiago Pereira, aboard for the 4-year-old colt’s last three starts since May, retains the mount.

Tripoli has three wins in 13 career starts and earnings of $211,960. The second-place result in the Grade II, $250,000 San Diego Handicap on July 17, beaten a half-length by Express Train, came in his stakes debut.

Other Pacific Classic nominees, with trainer’s name in parentheses are: Chess Chief (Dallas Stewart); Cupid’s Claws (Craig Dollase); Dr Post (Todd Pletcher); Express Train (John Shirreffs); Ginobili (Richard Baltas); Independence Hall (Michael McCarthy); Magic On Tap (Bob Baffert); Midcourt (John Shirreffs); Mo Mosa (Mike Maker); Royal Ship (Richard Mandella); Sherriff Brown (Todd Fincher); The Great One (Doug O’Neill), and Tizamagician ( Mandella).

Trainer Pletcher, from his Saratoga headquarters, indicated he’s considering the coast-to-coast ship for Dr Post seriously.

“We’re going to breeze him Saturday and if we’re pleased with that, he’s a go,” Pletcher said.

The 31st running of the TVG Pacific Classic is for 3-year-olds and up at the classic distance of a mile and one quarter. It is designated as a “Win and You’re In” Challenge Race giving its winner a guaranteed all-fees-paid admission to the $6-million Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will be run at Del Mar on Saturday, November 6.

The post Rock Your World Among Nominees To Pacific Classic appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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