The field is set for the Grade 1 TVG Pacific Classic. The 2022 renewal of each summer’s flagship race at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club will take place Saturday, Sept. 3.
A field of six thoroughbreds will line up to go 1 1/4 miles at the Southern California horse racing venue. It includes one of the most highly-renowned horses in training at the moment, as well as the winner of one of the richest races in the world.
Flightline looks to soar at Del Mar
The undefeated Flightline has romped to victories in each of his four prior career starts. He hasn’t run much, but when he has, he’s been on a different level than the rest of his competition.
His lone start this season was a victory in the Grade 1 Met Mile this past June at Belmont Park. Flightline overcame a slow start that day to win in a runaway and stopped the timer in 1:33.59. That performance is a big reason why Flightline is an overwhelming 1/5 morning line favorite for Saturday’s race at Del Mar.
If there’s a possible barrier to a fifth straight victory, it’s that the TVG Pacific Classic will be Flightline’s first start beyond a mile. While anything remotely close to his Met Mile effort would make him very tough to beat, the extra quarter-mile has tripped up many talented runners stretching out.
Who could spring a TVG Pacific Classic upset?
The 4-1 second choice is Country Grammer, trained by embattled horseman Bob Baffert. Amid his legal battles earlier this year, this son of Tonalist shipped to the Middle East and won the $12 million Dubai World Cup.
Baffert has won this race six times, most recently in 2020. Another victory would break a tie with fellow Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel for the most in TVG Pacific Classic history.
Royal Ship won the San Diego Handicap earlier this year to prep for this event. He ran second to Country Grammer in last year’s Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup, where he was beaten just a head. The field also includes Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap winner Express Train, whose career includes five graded stakes victories.
Graded stakes winners Extra Hope and Stilleto Boy complete the group. The TVG Pacific Classic is the 10th race on Saturday’s program, which starts at 1 pm Pacific time. Del Mar’s gates open two hours earlier, at 11 am.
How to bet on the TVG Pacific Classic
California sports betting is currently illegal (though that may change this November). However, betting on horse racing is legal throughout the Golden State.
If you can’t make it to the San Diego area for the TVG Pacific Classic, you can still enjoy the festivities from home. TVG provides a one-stop shop where you can watch and wager on horse racing from around the country.
Their television network, which recently announced a rebrand to Fanduel TV, is on-site at Del Mar all meet long. The TVG advance deposit wagering platform is available on computers, phones and tablets.