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Aug 26, 2011

Pacific Classic draws field of 11, no Blind Luck


Del Mar, CA (Sports Network) - Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude heads a field of 11 older horses in Sunday's 21st running of the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar. Missing from the race will be champion filly Blind Luck.

The Pacific Classic is a "Win and You're In" race, giving the victor an automatic start in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Game On Dude will be ridden by Chantal Sutherland from post nine. The four-year-old gelding will be making his third career start at 1 1/4-miles, a distance he has won at along with a second.

The Hall of Fame trainer won the last two Pacific Classics with Richard's Kid.

Game On Dude won the Santa Anita Handicap at the Classic distance and just missed versus former stablemate First Dude in the Hollywood Gold Cup. He has earned just over $1 million in 11 lifetime starts with four wins.

Despite being sixth in the latest NTRA Poll, Game On Dude is only the 3-1 second choice behind 5-2 morning-line favorite Twirling Candy.

Twirling Candy, third in the Hollywood Gold Cup, has drawn post 10 and will be ridden by Joel Rosario. The four-year-old colt is trained by John Sadler for the partnership of the Craig Family Trust, Will Farish and Marty Wygod.

"He's a big horse and to run a mile and a quarter on this track, you have to be relaxed and you have to be good," Sadler said. "I'm happy with the preparation. This seems to be a good spacing (between races). It's 50 days between the Hollywood Gold Cup and this race, which seems to be good spacing for him."

This year Twirling Candy won the Malibu, Strub and Californian with a fifth in the Santa Anita Handicap. He has won seven of 10 career starts for $744,900.

Trainer and co-owner Jerry Hollendorfer decided not to start Blind Luck in the Pacific Classic, which would have been her first race against males.

"I just didn't want to run her against the colts," Hollendorfer said by telephone from Northern California. "I didn't want to ship her across the country either."

Hollendorfer is now pointing the champion to the Lady's Secret Stakes at Santa Anita on October 1. She then will start in the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic on Friday, November 4 at Churchill Downs.

Here is the complete field for the Pacific Classic in post position order: Don Cavallo, Luis Contreras, 8-1; Jeranimo, Martin Pedroza, 12-1; Stately Victor, Mike Smith, 20-1; Tres Borrachos, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1; Acclamation, Patrick Valenzuela, 5-1; Setsuko, Victor Espinoza, 8-1; Great Warrior, Omar Berrio, 50-1; Bourbon Bay, Joe Talamo, 20-1; Game On Dude, Chantal Sutherland, 3-1; Twirling Candy, Joel Rosario, 5-2 and Quindici Man, Martin Garcia, 20-1.

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