Everyone’s handicapping the Pacific Classic, maybe riding Arrogate’s strong numbers and playing with the percentages…otherwise trying to beat him. Naturally, I fall into the latter category. Here’s how I see this race, which is 10 furlongs on the Del Mar dirt track, a Grade 1 event with $1 million at stake.
My top 3 are Hard Aces, Collected, and Donworth. Overlays are Hard Aces and Donworth.
Hard Aces had last won in April at Santa Anita in the Tokyo City, then last year’s Cougar II Handicap. I focus strongly on his run last out, the 2017 Cougar II. He had the lead for half of the 12 furlong race, nosed out in the finish. In the process he had to run wide, and also bumped a few rivals.With 3 runs in the 90s, he has the most consistent run of BRIS ratings. I like that he improved a bit at the 2nd call first after layoff, and assumed the lead at that point also.
Donworth hasn’t won since the 2015 Stanton, 3 races ahead of his maiden breaker. My focus is on the fact that he’s the lone early speed of the field. Also, he has the best fit for track bias. In 34 races at 10 furlongs during the Del Mar meet, early sprinters have won 14 of them, a 41% clip. Also, the range of horses in posts 4-7 in those races have the best scoring ability, at 16%. He does post a bounce risk, but I like the timing of his running here to overlook that fact.
I am likely to bet to win on those 2 horses, mixing in Collected, Accelerate and, yes, Arrogate to play over in exactas.