(Trainer Richard Mandella may be ready for G1 Pacific Class / Photo by Gene McLean)

From the Del Mar Turf Club Media Team:


Full fields have been commonplace during the summer meet so it’s only fitting that Del Mar’s marquee race would have a full field or close to it.

Nominations closed Thursday for the 33rd running of the G1 FanDuel Racing Pacific Classic at Del Mar September 2. Fifteen horses have been nominated for the mile and a quarter event, a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Of the nominees, three are 3-year olds facing older horses for the first time; six have won a race at Del Mar; four have won Grade I’s, and one is a former winner of the Pacific Classic.

Trainer Bob Baffert has nominated three of his horses to the race. Doug O’Neill and John Sadler have two each. All but one nominee are based here at the seaside oval.

The trio of 3-year-olds are Zedan Racing Stables’ Arabian Knight; Pin Oak Stud’s Geaux Rocket Ride and C R K Stable’s Skinner.

Arabian Knight is trained by Baffert. The colt raised eyebrows earlier this year with a dominating victory in the G3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park in January. But then he went on the shelf, missing the Triple Crown. He came back in the G1 Haskell at Monmouth Park last month and finished third.

Geaux Rocket Ride won the Haskell in what many considered his breakout race. The son of Candy Ride is trained by Richard Mandella. He has won three of his four starts, the only blemish a runner-up finish to Practical Move in the G2 San Felipe in March.

Skinner is trained by John Shirreffs. The son of Curlin has only won once in six starts but he finished third in both the San Felipe and the G1 Santa Anita Derby and then was runner-up to Reincarnate in the $125,000 Los Alamitos Derby.

There was only one potential shipper on the nominations list and he ran Friday night in the Charles Town Classic so Giddyup Stables and Tom Lambro’s Call Me Fast, a Dialed In colt out of the Michael Puhich barn, will not be making the trip.

Otherwise everyone else is familiar with the surroundings. Azul Coast and Defunded are the other two Baffert trainees. They are both owned by Pegram, Watson or Weitman and both have won at Del Mar: Azul Coast took the 2021 Native Diver, while Defunded won the 2022 version.

Also familiar with the Del Mar winner’s circle are Buckendorf, Lambert or Rodriguez et al’s Order and Law, winner of the G3 Cougar II last month; Peacock Family Holdings’ Senor Buscador, who won the G2 San Diego; Reddam Racings’ Slow Down Andy, winner of last year’s Del Mar Derby, and Hronis Racing’s Tripoli, the 2021 Pacific Classic winner.

The Grade I winners nominated for this year’s Pacific Classic are Tripoli, Defunded, who won the Hollywood Gold Cup two races back, Geaux Rocket Ride, and the Santa Anita Handicap winner, Steve Moger’s Stilleto Boy from the Ed Moger, Jr. barn.

The other nominees are R3 Racing’s Katonah, winner of the Pleasanton Mile. O’Neill says that colt was battling foot issues earlier this month but they appear to have cleared up; Don Alberto Stable’s Piroli from the Michael McCarthy barn, runner-up to Defunded in the Hollywood Gold Cup, and Donnie Crevier’s American Admiral, an impressive looking son of American Pharoah trained by Tim Yakteen.

Bee Zee, Babington or Hudson et al’s Missed the Cut was nominated for the Classic, but Sadler says he will go instead in the G2 Del Mar Handicap.

Entries for the Pacific Classic will be drawn Tuesday afternoon at the Brigantine Restaurant in Del Mar.


A filly, who took a break from racing last year, has come back with a vengeance in 2023 and is the morning line favorite in the G3 Rancho Bernardo, a 6 ½ furlong sprint at Del Mar Sunday.

Eda is a daughter of Munnings whose career started in promising fashion. In her debut, in June of 2021, she finished second but was moved up to first because of a disqualification. She followed that with a runner-up finish in the G2 Sorrento at Del Mar, missing by a head to Elm Drive.

Her run in the subsequent Del Mar Debutante is the only blemish on her record, a fifth-place finish, beaten 18-lengths by Grace Adler in the Grade I. She would not lose another race, winning the $75,000 Anoakia at Santa Anita; the $100,000 Desi Arnaz back at Del Mar; the G1 Starlet at Los Alamitos, and the G3 Santa Ysabel in March of 2022.

But that’s when trainer Bob Baffert started noticing something off with his filly.

“She had little things,” Baffert says. “She got real light on me and you could tell she wasn’t enjoying her work, so we just turned her out for four or five-months.”

It did wonders. Eda came back from a 13-month layoff to win a 6 ½ furlong allowance race at Santa Anita in April and five weeks later took down the G2 Great Lady M at Los Alamitos, edging out Chismosa and Elm Drive. It was her seventh win in nine career starts with one second and pushed her career earnings near $600,000.

The other Baffert horse in Sunday’s affair is Home Cooking, a 3-year old filly by Honor Code who just won an entry level allowance at Del Mar.

“She’s very fast,” Baffert says. “She ran a big race here. She likes this track and is very aggressive early. She’s doing well.”

Home Cooking was the runner-up to And Tell Me No Lies in last year’s Del Mar Debutante.

Trainer John Sadler has won the Rancho Bernardo the past two years with Edgeway. She’s retired now and in foal to Flightline so this year Sadler brings Kirstenbosch, a filly by Midnight Lute. She’s cutting back in distance for the Rancho Bernardo

“She’s run well going short,” Sadler says. “She was third in a Grade I (2022 La Brea) and then third in another sprint stake (2023 Monrovia). She’s kind of what we call a horse that’s pace dependent. She needs horses going fast in front of her so she can get out and make her run.”

Kirstenbosch is returning for her second race at the meet in what should be an easier spot than the G1 Clement Hirsch she ran in last month. She finished an empty fifth that day. This after coming in second in the G2 Santa Margarita and winning the G3 La Canada earlier this year. Both of those races were around two turns.

Lady T also is back for her second race this summer at Del Mar. The daughter of Into Mischief won an allowance race last month. It was her first race since February.

Muted ships in for Glen Hill Farm and trainer Tom Proctor. She made a lot of noise in her last, an optional claimer at Gulfstream Park where she beat stakes winner R Adios Jersey and Chilean import Yuki.

Another horse returning from a freshening is longshot Violent Runner, who was beaten by 13 ¼ lengths by Eda in April.

“She got left at the gate,” trainer Steve Knapp says. “She never got into the race. She’s a speed horse and she wants to be close, so hopefully we’ll get a good break. She’s got a lot of speed, she’s a nice filly. Her works have been excellent so hopefully she’ll run us a big race.”

The G3 Rancho Bernardo is the ninth race on the 10-race Sunday program. Approximate post time is 6 p.m.

Here’s the field from the rail with jockeys and morning line odds: Kirstenbosch (Hector Berrios, 4-1); Home Cooking (Joe Bravo, 6-1); Lady T (Mike Smith, 4-1); Olivia Twist (scratched); Muted (Drayden Van Dyke, 5-1); Princess Adaleigh (Jose Valdivia, Jr. 8-1); Violent Runner (Mario Gutierrez, 8-1), and Eda (Juan Hernandez, 8/5).


Few things capture the racing world’s fancy more than watching the prodigy of a Hall of Fame racehorse. There’s something about the possibility the offspring will grow up to be just like their famous father or mother that teases the imagination.

When the offspring goes out and wins their debut, it always creates a buzz and if that “baby” is the spitting image of their world class parent, it just feeds the speculation. As Yogi Berra once said: ‘It’s déjà vu all over again.’

Last Saturday a horse named Tamara (pronounced Tah-mare-ah), a 2-year-old brown bay filly by Bolt d’Oro, won her debut at Del Mar by 2 ¼ lengths. Bolt d’Oro was a very good horse in his own right but that’s not the connection that has the racing world talking this week. It’s her mother, Hall of Fame inductee Beholder.

Take Tamara and put her mom’s rider, Mike Smith, on her back wearing the bright orange silks of Spendthrift Farm and one is instantly transported back to the days Beholder ruled the racing world.

That was 2012 to 2016 during which time she won four Eclipse Awards and three Breeders’ Cups. She would win 18 of her 26 starts and collect over $6 million in earnings. Pretty hard act to follow for a precocious 2-year-old filly.

“She’s grown up in the last few months into a beautiful filly,” her trainer Richard Mandella says. “She was a little backwards-looking three months ago, but now she’s grown into herself nicely.”

Mandella also trained Beholder. He says Tamara came out of the race in good order and they’re going to look at the G1 Del Mar Debutante September 9 on closing weekend.

“We don’t know if she’d be back in time for that,” Mandella says, “but if I had to guess today I’d say she would. We’ll see how she gets back to the track.”

Beholder ran second to Executiveprivilege in the 2012 Del Mar Debutante. Missed by a nose.


CARMA, the non profit organization that aids in finding homes for former racehorses, is holding its annual ‘Carmathon’ all day today.

The group is hoping to raise at least $150,000 to fund CARMA’s grant program, which offers help to over 20 Thoroughbred aftercare charities around the state. It’s the fourth year of the virtual fundraiser. Last year’s event raised over $300,000. It will be broadcast live on Fan Duel Racing.

If you wish to make a donation, just go to their website (carma4horses.org) and follow the links.

COOLING OUT:  Eddie’s New Dream came back from her win in the $150,000 Solana Beach Friday in good order. She will be pointed to “Whatever the next Cal Bred mare stake is,” owner and breeder J. Paul Reddam says. “Dirt, turf, long, short. I don’t think it really matters. She does it all.” The California Distaff, down the hill at Santa Anita on October 14, would be the next race that fits the bill… Jockey Antonio Fresu has been on a bit of tear this week. He posted a riding triple on Thursday and came back Friday and won two more, increasing his total for the meet to 18 and vaulting into third place in the jockey standings. He’s two wins behind Umberto Rispoli in second and nine behind the leader, Juan Hernandez… Notable works on Saturday: Dirt – American Admiral (4f, :48.40); Maltese Falcon (4f, :48.80); Piroli (4f, :47.60); Arabian Knight (5f, :59.60); Offlee Naughty (1:01.20); Skinner (5f, 1:00.60); Stilleto Boy (5f, 1:00.60), and Slow Down Andy (6f, 1:13.60). A total of 259 horses put in official works.