Five-million-dollar earner Game On Dude will break from Post 11 Sunday at Del Mar in a field of 13 in the $1-million TVG Pacific Classic, the richest race in the west for older horses.
The 6-year-old gelded son of Awesome Again has twice come up short in the 10-furlong headliner, running fourth in 2011, then second last year. This time he's listed as the 5-2 morning line favorite for this 23rd running of the 3-year-old and up crucible, which will feature the second-largest field in its history, topped only by the 14 runners in Came Home's winning effort in 2002.
Game On Dude, who runs out of the barn of Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, a three-time winner of the race, will be ridden by the nation's leading rider, Joel Rosario.
Next in the betting line is last year' s Pacific Classic hero, Dullahan, who'll start from Post 9 and carry 7-2 morning line odds going in. The chestnut colt again has shipped in from Kentucky to try for his double and will pick up the saddle services of Del Mar's leading rider, Rafael Bejarano.
Next in the betting comes recent San Diego Handicap winner Kettle Corn at 6-1 (Post 7), the Canadian invader Delegation at 8-1 (Post 10) and then a two-time winner of the race already – the veteran Richard's Kid – also at 8-1 (Post 6).
The TVG Pacific Classic will be the ninth of 11 races on the Sunday card with a special first post time of 1 p.m. Also on the program will be the $250,000 Pat O'Brien Stakes at seven furlongs and the $200,000 Del Mar Mile on turf.
The TVG Pacific Classic, a Breeders' Cup “Win and You're In” race, guarantees the winner free entry into the nation's richest races, the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic, which this year will be run on November 2 at Santa Anita Park.
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