Saturday’s Pacific Classic looks set-up to be a one-sided affair with the US talking horse FLIGHTLINE expected to be around 1-5 in the betting. The John W Sadler-trained 4 year-old heads into the race unbeaten in four races and his stable have also mopped-up three of the last four runnings of the Del Mar Grade 1.
The Tapit colt is also taking on just five rivals (see the full runners and riders below) and even though one of those is the Dubai World Cup winner – Country Grammer – it will still be a brave punter that takes on Flightline – after all, he’s won his four races by a total of 44 lengths and could even have more in the locker over this longer trip.
Therefore, betting on Flightline in a single to win the Pacific Classic 2022 isn’t a great betting proposition – at odds of 1-5, even a $100 stake will only bank you $20 bucks!
With that in mind, we can expect a wave of punters standing at the exacta and trifecta counters in a bid to try and predict the first two or three home and in the process grab some better value.
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When Is The 2022 Pacific Classic Stakes?
Run over a trip of 1m2f (10 furlongs), the Grade I Pacific Classic Stakes is staged at Del Mar racetrack in California.
📅Date: Saturday September 3, 2022
🏇Racetrack: Del Mar racetrack, California, (Dirt)
💰 Purse: $1,000,000
📺 TV: FanDuel TV
You can bet on the Grade I Pacific Classic Stakes with BOVADA and receive a 100% MATCH-UP welcome bonus (up to $1,000) to use on the race.
See Our Flightline Trifecta For 2022 Pacific Stakes
What Is A Trifecta Bet?
A trifecta is a tote-based bet placed on a horse race in which you must predict which horses will finish first, second, and third, in the exact order.
Of course, this is horse racing and anything can happen. Those looking for the shock will probably cling to the fact Flightline has never raced over this 1m2f trip, with all runs coming over 6f, 7f or 1m. However, he’s not exactly been stopping when winning his races and his breeding also suggests the extra yardage is well within range.
Therefore, no shocker here, but we are sticking the hot odds-on favorite – FLIGHTLINE @ 2-7 @ Bovada – first in the trifecta, but of the other five runners this is where punters will have their own opinions with the second and third horses.
You feel that most will opt for this year’s Dubai World Cup winner COUNTRY GRAMMER @ 5-1 @ Bovada to hit the silver medal spot and it’s hard to argue otherwise. We know the Bob Baffert runner stays this 1m2f trip well and a recent second in the San Diego Handicap to Royal Ship will have him spot-on for this. He can reverse that form over this longer trip.
Royal Ship will have his supporters for the third slot, but the longer trip is not a plus and we feel there’s a big chance he’ll get run out of things down the stretch.
Stilleto Boy lowered the colours of EXPRESS TRAIN @ 20-1 @ Bovada last time out when they were first and second in the Californian Stakes at Santa Anita on April 30, but back up in trip we’ll take the John Shirreffs runner to overturn that run. He won the Grade One Santa Anita Handicap back in March and from his 18 career runs has won 7 and hit the first three 15 times which works out at a 83% strike-rate of winning a bronze (or better) medal in his races.
2022 Pacific Classic Trifecta
2nd COUNTRY GRAMMER
3rd EXPRESS TRAIN
Note: Odds are subject to change
Pacific Classic Stakes 2022 Runners and Riders
1. EXTRA HOPE @ 66-1 with BOVADA
Trainer: Richard Manella
Jockey: Tyler Baze
Six races without a success, with that last win coming on November 21 2020! Just three runs this year but took a slight step forward last time when only 1 1/4 lengths back in third in the Grade 3 Cougar II Stakes at Del Mar over 1m4f. His trainer, Richard Mandella has a fine record in the race with four wins that stretch from 1996 to 2015. However, we’ve only had one winning 6 year-old of this race since 2005 and regardless of that stat it would be a major upset if Extra Hope is taking this.
2. COUNTRY GRAMMER @ 5-1 with BOVADA
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Jockey: John Velazquez
Certainly looks the main threat to lowering the colours of Flightline. From the powerful Bob Baffert yard that have six past success in this race and need just one more to overtake Robert Frankel. This 5 year-old landed the lucrative Dubai World Cup at Meydan back on March 26 (watch below) and returned at the end of July with a fair second in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap. And also had last year’s Pacific Classic winner – Tripoli – way back in 6th (beaten 6 lengths).
He’ll be sharper today and his backers will know he stays this 1m2f trip well, while since joining Baffert in April 21 the horse is yet to finish out of the first two (5 runs). Those looking to take on Flightline are likely to be drawn to Country Grammer, who has amassed just under $10.9m in total prize money, while if successful will be jockey John Velazquez’s first win in this race.
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3. ROYAL SHIP @ 11-1 with BOVADA
Trainer: Richard Mandella
Jockey: Mike Smith
Another from the Richard Mandella barn that have recorded four wins in this Grade 1 and certainly won’t be without his supporters. He was the horse that beat Country Grammer last time in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on July 31 and had 2 1/4 lengths in-hand at the winning post.
The worry for him though might be the step back up in trip, with all three recent runs over this 1m2f distance resulting in defeats. Regular jockey Mike Smith gets the leg-up again and with four past wins in this race (2002, 2009, 2010 and 2014) he’ll have bundles of experience in the saddle. Not with a chance in the trifecta.
4. EXPRESS TRAIN @ 20-1 with BOVADA
Trainer: John Shirreffs
Jockey: Victor Espinoza
Has a decent record on the dirt with 6 wins and 13 top three finishes from 15 outings. Last seen grabbing a fair silver medal in the Grade 2 Californian Stakes at Santa Anita on April 30, so will come here fresher than most. Course winner at Del Mar too after winning the 2021 running of the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap and will have jockey Victor Espinoza, who won this race on California Chrome in 2016, doing the steering. Will be a popular pick for the trifecta players.
5. FLIGHTLINE @ 2-7 with BOVADA
Trainer: John Sadler
Jockey: Flavien Prat
The horse all eyes will be on here. Flightline is unbeaten from his opening four race and has landed those contests by a remarkable total of 44 lengths. No secret that connections think he can go to the very top, but will need to take another big step forward here if he’s to live up to his already growing reputation.
Last seen bolting up in the Grade 1 Hill ‘N’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap on June 11 by an easy 6 lengths (watch below).
He’s already being touted as a contender to challenge the English-trained Baaeed as the highest-rated horse in training and with Saturday’s Pacific Classic a ‘win and you’re in’ Breeders’ Cup race, then all eyes will be on Keeneland for the Breeders’ Cup Classic on November 5 after this.
Those looking to take him on will not have much to cling to, but with this being this first attempt beyond a mile, then not getting the 1m2f trip will be all his doubters have to go on. So far, his wins have been over 6f, 7f and 1m (last time), but being by Tapit his breeding suggests this extra yardage is within range – we’ll find out on Saturday!
What Do Flightline’s Connections Say?
John W. Sadler (trainer) “This is not an ordinary horse, this is a very special horse. There is a lot of pressure on you, but it is the pressure you want. You know you have something special and he is much the best. You just don’t want to screw it up.”
“This is a tough ask. To go from a mile to a mile and a quarter in your fifth start, it’s not an easy thing. But we feel he is capable of doing it because he’s that kind of a horse.”
Bill Farish, (co-owner) “I think everything he has done sets him apart. Flightline is the creme de la creme. He rises echelons above the stars we see every year that come and go. Rarely have we ever had a horse at any level that the trainer has said from work one this is something seriously special.”
BACK FLIGHTLINE for Saturday’s Grade I Pacific Classic Stakes with BOVADA and receive a 100% welcome bonus (up to $1,000) to use on the race.
6. STILLETO BOY @ 33-1 with BOVADA
Trainer: Ed Moger Jr
Jockey: Juan Hernandez
Another of the likely outsiders and based on his last run at Del Mar has a fair bit of ground to make up. He was third – beaten 6 1/2 lengths – in the already mentioned Grade 2 San Diego Handicap and with Royal Ship (1st) and Country Grammer (2nd) in that race then he’s got form to turn around on two others in this race. He’s also back up to 1m2f here and that’s not a plus either, with his three recent tries over this distance all losses.
Pacific Classic Stakes 2022 Betting
|Pacific Classic Horse||Latest Odds||Win Probability||Bookmaker|
All odds correct as of 02:24 on Sat 3 Sept and subject to change
Recent Pacific Classic Stakes Winners
- 2021 – TRIPOLI
- 2020 – MAXIMUM SECURITY
- 2019 – HIGHER POWER
- 2018 – ACCELERATE
- 2017 – COLLECTED
- 2016 – CALIFORNIA CHROME
- 2015 – BEHOLDER
- 2014 – SHARED BELIEF