North America’s current horse racing leader in earnings, California Chrome returns to action at the Pacific Classic Stakes 2016 from Del Mar Racetrack in Del Mar, California this weekend. This Grade 1 event not only offers a $1 million purse, but more importantly an automatic berth into this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic. Now that post positions have been drawn and betting odds made available, we can issue OSH’s winning picks for this must-see/bet occasion.
The 2016 Pacific Classic Stakes, which is scheduled for Saturday night and has a post time of 9:15 p.m. ET (Race #9), and has become one of the top (prize) races for older competitors (ages three and up). Thus, horse racing betting aficionados will have to choose from one of three quality horses, including some notable names from past Triple Crowns, as well as some newcomers.
California Chrome (8/5): After winning 2/3 of the Triple Crown in 2014, California Chrome has been on a tear, and, naturally, will be the one to beat at 8/5 horse racing futures odds. This may come as a bit of a surprise to some bettors, considering the son of Lucky Pulpit, now 5-years-old, drew post position number one against the rail. “The No. 1 post is never any good at any track,” said California Chrome’s trainer, Art Sherman, “but I still wouldn’t take my chances with any other horse. He’s coming into this race with no excuses. Plus, the last time I checked, the rail is the shortest way around the track.” After failing to win the Triple Crown – by finishing fourth at the Belmont Stakes – California Chrome has built quite a bit of momentum heading into the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Some of his most notable wins, since becoming a near miss, include: San Diego Handicap (G2), Dubai World Cup (G1), San Pasqual Stakes (G2) and Hollywood Derby (G1). He weighed in at the limit of 124 pounds and will have jockey Victor Espinoza on mount for this one.
Dortmund (5/2): According to horse racing futures, the leading candidate to put an end to California Chrome’s 4-race win streak is Dortmund at 5/2 odds. Trained by legendary Hall of Famer, Bob Baffert, he son of Big Brown also weighed in at the limit of 124 pounds and will be charging out of post position number eight. Despite the fact that Dortmund’s achievements fall short compared to California Chrome, his familiarity with this track makes him a legitimate threat. This four-year-old colt is coming off a win at the Native Diver Handicap (G3) and followed that up by finishing second at the San Diego Handicap (G2) last month. He will be teaming up with jockey Rafael Bejarano, as the two will try and slow California Chrome’s impetus heading into the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November.
Beholder (3/1): Rounding out our top three Pacific Classic Stakes 2016 favorites is another well-known name, as Beholder has become a very popular bet at Del Mar at 3/1 horse racing futures odds. This 6-year-old mare is trained by Richard E. Mandella and drew post position number seven neighboring to Dortmund. The one thing that makes Beholder such a dangerous underdog is the success she’s enjoyed on this track. Even though Beholder is coming off a second-place finish in this year’s Clement L. Hirsch (G1), she’s the defending Pacific Classic (G1) champion, as well as wins in last year’s Clement L. Hirsch (G1) and Torrey Pines in 2013. Beholder will be teaming up with jockey Gary L. Stevens this weekend, and she weighed in at 119 pounds.
- Pacific Classic Stakes 2016 Picks: Beholder (3/1)
Pacific Classic Stakes 2016 Post Positions & Betting Odds
- California Chrome: 8/5
- Hoppertunity: 8/1
- War Story: 30/1
- Hard Aces: 15/1
- Win the Space: 15/1
- Imperative: 20/1
- Beholder: 3/1
- Dortmund: 5/2
- Dalmore: 20/1