Saturday will mark the 28th edition of the Pacific Classic, Del Mar’s marquee race for the handicap division.
The race has always been contested at a mile and a quarter over the Del Mar main: polytrack from 2007 through 2014, and dirt otherwise. The race offers a $1,000,000 purse, as well as a Win and You’re In berth into the Breeders’ Cup Classic for the winner. Thus far, no winner of the Pacific Classic has gone on to win the BC Classic in the same year. Pleasantly Perfect (2004), however, had already won the BC Classic the year before. Bertrando (1993) finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic that same year, overtaken late by 133/1 longshot Arcangues. Recent winners have, like Bertrando, come close in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. 2016 winner California Chrome finished second behind Arrogate in that year’s Classic; the next year, Collected finished second behind Gun Runner in the same race.