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Aug 31, 2012

Dullahan wins Pacific Classic over Game On Dude


Del Mar, CA (Sports Network) - Dullahan, the only 3-year-old in the race, caught leading thoroughbred Game On Dude down the stretch to capture Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar. The colt covered the 1 1/4-miles in a track record 1:59.54 on Del Mar's synthetic track.

The Classic is a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" race. The victory gives Dullahan an automatic spot in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 3 at Santa Anita.

Hollywood Gold Cup champ Game On Dude was the 6-5 favorite with Dullahan going off at 5-1.

Ridden by Joel Rosario, Dullahan left from post five in the 10 horse field. He was racing next to last while Riveting Reason set the pace with Suggestive Boy, Game On Dude and Akkadian close behind.

Around the final turn Game On Dude and jockey Chantal Sutherland moved from the outside to take the lead with Suggestive Boy taking over second with Rail Trip in third and Dullahan sweeping wide into fourth.

Game On Dude, trained by Bob Baffert, had the lead at the top of the stretch. Dullahan, third in this year's Kentucky Derby, came wide off the turn, but quickly moved into second and went after the favorite.

Yards before the wire Dullahan, trained by Dale Romans, caught and passed Game On Dude and posted a half-length victory over the 5-year-old gelding.

Finishing a distant third was two-time Pacific Classic winner Richard's Kid followed by Rail Trip, Suggestive Boy, Amani, Jaycito, Where's Sterling, Akkadian and Riveting Reason.

"Thanks to Dale Romans and to Joel Rosario for doing a brilliant job training and riding," said Jerry Crawford of owner Donegal Racing. "And what a horse!"

Dullahan pockets $600,000 with the victory. The colt has won three of 12 career starts for $1,702,091. All three wins have come on synthetic surfaces.

The 3-year-old was coming off a disappointing fifth in the Haskell Invitational on July 29 at Monmouth Park. He won the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland prior to the Run for the Roses. After skipping the Preakness, Dullahan was seventh as the 5-2 favorite in the Belmont Stakes.

Dullahan paid $12.60, $5.20 and $3.40. Game On Dude returned $3.20 and $2.40, and Richard's Kid paid $3.00 to show.

Acclamation was unable to defend last year's Pacific Classic win. The Eclipse Award winner is sidelined indefinitely with a left front ankle injury.

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