Nominations announced for Pacific Classic, Del Mar Cap and Oaks
August 13, 2017
Nominations closed Thursday at midnight for the three major stakes on the Saturday, August 19 card—the Grade I $1 million TVG Pacific Classic, Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Oaks and the Grade II $250,000 Del Mar Handicap.
Late entries could still arrive via mail and supplemental entries, for a fee, can be received up until a deadline of Tuesday for the Classic or Wednesday for the Handicap and Oaks. Preliminary indications are for a field of around six, from 11 nominees, for the TVG Pacific Classic and double-figure fields for the Handicap and Oaks.
Nominated to the Classic are: Accelerate, Arrogate, Collected, Cupid, Curlin Road, Donworth, Giant Expectations, Hard Aces, Royal Albert Hall, Songbird and Sorry Erik.
For several of those nominees, the Classic – with North American No. 1 rated Arrogate – is not the race of choice among more than one option.
Trainer Keith Desormeaux said “I’m trying to talk myself into running in the Del Mar Derby,” with 3-year-old Sorry Erik, a winner of an allowance grass event here in July. Trainer John Sadler said Hard Aces will likely be switched back to turf in the Handicap. Trainer Peter Eurton said the Grade II $200,000 Pat O’Brien sprint on August 26 is the primary aim with Giant Expectations.
A decision regarding the excellent 4-year-old filly Songbird, who has accomplished almost everything possible against her own gender but has yet to run against males, isn’t likely before the Tuesday deadline.
San Clemente Handicap winner Madam Dancelot is a standout among 29 nominees to the Oaks which, unlike the Classic, appears to have piqued interest in the East. Eleven nominees would have to ship in from the opposite coast or overseas for the race. Among them, and considered “fifty-fifty” to run is New Money Honey, a Chad Brown-trained daughter of Medaglia d’Oro who won the Grade I Belmont Oaks in July at Belmont Park.
The top three finishers in the Eddie Read Stakes – Hunt, Ashleyluvssugar and Mr. Roary – are among 22 nominees for the Handicap. The field for the 1 3/8-mile turf test could also be bolstered by eastern invaders from the stables of trainers H. Graham Motion and Mark Casse.
Source: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club