The biggest days in horse racing are the weekends, where the top tracks in America host the biggest stakes races. At Del Mar, it’s the TVG Pacific Classic, a 1 1/4 mile Grade 1 race that has been the track’s centerpiece race since introduced in 1991. The race carries a $1 million purse and is restricted to 3-year-olds and older thoroughbreds. The 2022 Pacific Classic will take place on Saturday, September 3.
Pacific Classic Day is the most popular day of racing at Del Mar Racetrack – “Where the Turf Meets the Surf” alongside the Pacific Ocean. Below we will provide a betting breakdown for this year’s race as well as Pacific Classic morning line odds when they are made available.
Pacific Classic odds
Pacific Classic odds for the 2022 race are available to bet on now.
Will Flightline take flight in California or will one of the local horses shock the 1-5 chalk in Saturday’s TVG Pacific Classic?
That’s the big angle surrounding the 32nd running of this $1 million stakes race at Del Mar.
TVG is not only the name of Del Mar’s signature event, but the betting vehicle by which nationwide bettors can gain access. (TVG is being re-branded as FanDuel TV).
Odds become official at post time, in accordance with pari-mutuel regulations.
The TVG Pacific Classic is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race.
The winner obtains a guaranteed berth, with all fees paid, in the $6-million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland in Kentucky on Nov. 5.
This is a look at the field.
Extra Hope (30-1)
The drop back angle. Beaten by Royal Ship and Express Train in previous races. Has never been 1 1-4 miles, but went 1 1-2 and finished third in the Cougar Stakes. Being able to regard 1 1-4 miles as a step down in distance is a positive, but still has much to prove against these.
Country Grammer (4-1)
Already a big winner this year. He cashed in for his connections by winning the $12 million Dubai World Cup in March, beating Hot Rod Charlie. Authored a thunderous home-stretch rally to overtake Life Is Good shortly before the wire. Came back to the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar. Was not a prohibitive favorite at 2-1 and was a clearly beaten second to Royal Ship.
Royal Ship (8-1)
Ran a big one in capturing the San Diego Handicap, with ease, paying handsomely at 9-1. Enjoyed a nice stalking trip on the outside, allowing Stilletto Boy to pressure the pace, which eventually compromised favored Country Grammer. Based on that form, would have to be highly respected here. It’s a win over the track on a day in which he looked able to stretch to 1 1-4. We’ll see about this day.
Express Train (12-1)
Has two wins in three starts this year. Enjoyed a victory in the San Pasqual Stakes and captured the Santa Anita Handicap at this distance, 1 1-4 miles. Beaten by Stilletto Boy in the Californian. Was in position at the top of the lane, but Stilletto Boy would not let him by.
A generational horse? Follow the rising star, now 4-for-4. He prevailed at Maiden Special Weights, then Optional Claiming and was a Grade 1 Malibu Stakes winner in just his third outing. His last also was impressive, scorching the Met Mile field after breaking slowly from the gate. His six-furlong time of 1:08.54 was just an introduction to his putaway burst that buried the field. Has a win at Del Mar. Has not been the distance, otherwise he might be 1-9. Looks to be the controlling speed. Stilletto Boy may try and go with him.
Stilletto Boy (20-1)
Gave a good honest effort in the San Diego Handicap, finishing a distant third to Royal Ship. Forwardly placed and in good position coming around the turn, but just didn’t have enough. Did turn the tables on Express Train, one of the better horses in this race. After Express Train beat him in the Santa Anita Handicap, Stilletto Boy toppled him in the Californian. Has three respectable efforts at 1 1-4 miles, including fifth at this surface in the Breeders Cup Classic won by Knicks Go. Can’t seem to get past Royal Ship. Has another chance.
Betting insight: Pace Factor
Stilletto Boy may push for the lead with Flightline. Otherwise, the field is small enough that none of the jockeys should allow their horses to be swallowed up in a speed duel.
Fans will enjoy his stature as a special horse, even if it will be difficult to make money with him.
Where’s The Money?
Some players may take a one-way exacta slam, taking Flightline only on top in a straight ticket. They might back it up with a smaller exacta with him second.
If he runs as expected, players must be very precise in isolating the right combination.
Should he happen to run out of the first two spots, that would open a reasonably-sized payday. But this is a tough race to bet.
Based on past form, the combo would seem to be Flightline on top of whichever local horse performs best on this occasion.
Past form, of course, does not guarantee the results of the next race.
Schedule and race details
The 31st running of the Pacific Classic can be viewed live on TVG.
- Date: Saturday, September 3
- Time: 9:30 p.m. ET, 6:30 p.m. local Pacific Time
- Track & Location: Del Mar Racetrack, Del Mar, California
- Distance: 1 1/4 miles (10 furlongs)
- Surface: Dirt
- Horses: 3-year-olds and older Thoroughbreds by invitation only
- Track Record: Candy Ride (2003) in 1:59.11
- Largest Margin of Victory: Accelerate (12 1/2 lengths in 2018)
Since 2010, Del Mar has joined with its broadcast partner TVG to augment the TVG Pacific Classic. The race has maintained its position as one of the major Grade 1 races in American.
Bettors can place wagers on the Pacific Classic legally at online sites like TVG, BetAmerica and TwinSpires. Mobile betting on horse racing is legal in 31 states.
You can also wager on horse racing legally across the US at racetracks and simulcast centers such as Off Track Betting (OTB) Centers.
Winners and history
Tripoli was last year’s winner. The horse had 5-1 morning line odds.
The 2020 winner Maximum Security earned his 10th win in 12 starts at the time of his Pacific Classic win. Fourth place finisher Higher Power had won the 2019 race for trainer Jon Sadler’s second straight Pacific Classic win. The 2018 champion Accelerate won by a Pacific Classic-record 12 1/2-lengths.
The great California Chrome took the 2016 edition by 5-lengths, and also became the first Kentucky Derby winner of the Pacific Classic. The magnificent mare Beholder became the first filly or mare to win the Pacific Classic in 2015, and she finished 2nd behind California Chrome in 2016.
Del Mar has had many legends of racing run in the Pacific Classic, and 2003 winner Candy Ride set the Pacific Classic record in a time of 1:59.11. Jockey Julie Krone became the first female rider to win a million-dollar race with that victory aboard Candy Ride.
West coast-based Free House, who finished 2nd or 3rd in all three Triple Crown races in 1997, won the 1998 Pacific Classic by 4-lengths with jockey Chris McCarron aboard.
Perhaps the most notable race in hits history was the 1996 Pacific Classic. Riding a 16-race win streak that included the 1995 Breeders’ Cup Classic, the great Cigar and jockey Jerry Bailey went to the post as the 1/9 favorite in the Pacific Classic. But in a stunning upset, 39/1 longshot Dare and Go past Cigar at the mile marker and never looked back in a shocking 3 1/2-length victory.
Two decades later in 2017, Triple Crown winner Arrogate would be the upset by wire-to-wire half-length winner Collected in the Pacific Classic.
How to Bet
The Pacific Classic will be part of a special TVG All-Graded Stakes Late Pick 5, which will feature a minimum single-ticket payout of $1 million.
In addition to the traditional “straight” wagers (Win, Place, Show), fans can also attempt to cash big in the various “exotic” pools. Exacta (first two), Trifecta (first three) and Superfecta (first four) wagering are all offered, and cashing a ticket in any of these pools can produce a bigger payday.
- Win: Bet on the horse you think you will win the Pacific Classic.
- Place: Get paid the place price if your horse finishes first or second.
- Show: A show bet pays the least, but you win and get paid the show price if your horse finishes first, second or third.
- Exacta: Predict the first two horses in the correct order.
- Trifecta: Predict the first three horses in the correct order.
- Superfecta: Predict the first four horses in the correct order.
The Pacific Classic betting odds are finally determined by the pari-mutuel system at the track which means your potential payout depends on how much money is in the pool overall, divided by how many bets are placed. The odds will fluctuate in the build-up to the race and never more so than in the final few moments before post time.
Pacific Classic FAQ
When is the 2022 Pacific Classic?
The 32nd running of the Pacific Classic will take place on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022.
How many horses run?
The field is limited to a maximum of 14 horses.
What is the purse?
The 2022 Pacific Classic purse is $1 million, which is up from $500,000 when the race was run during the global pandemic.
How much does the winner of get?
The winner of the Pacific Classic receives $600,000, runner-up $200,000, third-place $120,000 and the top 10 places are paid.
What kind of race is the Pacific Classic?
The Pacific Classic is a Grade 1 stakes race and is restricted to Thoroughbreds 3-years-old and older.
When is post time?
Post time is approx. 9:30 p.m. ET and 6:30 p.m. local Pacific Time.
How much are tickets?
Ticket prices start at $8 for General admission, $23 and up for Grandstand tickets and prices vary for Clubhouse admission.
Who was the fastest horse to win the Pacific Classic?
Candy Ride (2003) and jockey Julie Krone raced home a 3-length winner in 1:59.11 over race favorite Medaglia d’Oro in a compact field of four. Candy Ride (ARG) recorded the fastest Beyer Speed Figure (123) in 2003, and he was retired following the Pacific Classic a perfect 6-for-6 in his short career.
Has a Filly ever won the Pacific Classic?
Yes, 5-year-old magnificent mare Beholder dominated the 2015 Pacific Classic with an 8-length victory over nine rivals. The following year in 2016, she finished 2nd to the Hall of Famer California Chrome in the Pacific Classic, and then Beholder went on to win the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Distaff in one of the most exciting races of the year. Beholder won by a nose over undefeated 3-year-old Song Bird. Following that Breeders’ Cup race, Beholder was retired with 18 career wins and six runner-up finishes in 28 starts.