Pacific Classic Betting Guide

One of the biggest race days of the year at Del Mar occurs in August, as the Grade 1 Pacific Classic Stakes takes center stage. The event offers one of the biggest prize purses of the year, and there will be a number of the best horses in training heading to the track to compete for the Grade 1.

Pacific Classic Event Details


The 2021 renewal of the Pacific Classic Stakes will take place on August 22nd. Horses aged three and older can enter the famous race, which is run over a distance of 1 ¼ miles. Horses involved will turn left-handed at Del Mar, and the Pacific Classic Stakes is run on dirt. There has been a purse of $500,000 for this Grade 1 since 2020.


Pacific Classic Preview


Some of the finest horses in training will line up for the Pacific Classic Stakes. However, declarations for the 2021 renewal will not be made official until the middle of August. We can look at some of the past winners of the race and examine the trends that could point towards a leading contender for the race this year. Below, you will find the last five winners of the Grade 1.


  • Maximum Security (2020)

  • Higher Power (2019)

  • Accelerate (2018)

  • Collected (2017)

  • California Chrome (2016)


Some of the best trainers have dominated this race in recent years. John Sadler has twice trained the winner, with both of his victories coming in the last three renewals. He was denied a history-breaking third straight win last year, as Bob Baffert trained the winner for the second time in five years with Maximum Security. The only other trainer to have won the race in the past five years was Art Sherman, who won with California Chrome in 2016.


The age of the horse could be one of the most significant trends to follow when it comes to betting on the Pacific Classic. Three of the previous four winners have been four years old. The only winning horse during this spell that wasn’t four was five-year-old Accelerate, who won in 2018. Five-year-olds have fared well in the race, too, as three of the previous six winners have been that age. There have only been two three-year-old winners since 2010. Shared Belief for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer was the most recent in 2014. The only six-year-old winner since 2010 was Game On Dude for Baffert.


Higher Power’s victory in 2019 was one of the most surprising in recent seasons, as he didn’t win a single Graded race before victory in the Pacific Classic. The only win that he had achieved was in an Allowance Optional at Santa Anita. However, most previous winners have achieved Graded victories before winning the Pacific Stakes. Maximum Security was one of the most esteemed winners of the race, as he had won the San Diego Handicap, Saudi Cup, and Cigar Mile before victory at Del Mar. Meanwhile, Accelerate had won the Gold Cup at Santa Anita and Santa Anita Handicap.


Pacific Classic Event Information


The Pacific Classic has been an important race on the American racing calendar since it was introduced in 1991. Since 2010, it has been sponsored by the TVG Network. The race was introduced as the premier event of the Del Mar racing season, with a purse of $1 million up for grabs. The first renewals of the race were headlined by Californian Horse of the Year, Best Pal. He won the race in 1991, before subsequently finishing third and second in the following two years.


It was upgraded to a Grade 1 in 1993. There have been some famous renewal in the past, but maybe none were more memorable than Cigar’s history-making attempt at 16 straight wins. The famous horse would eventually taste defeat in 1996, as he was beaten by 40/1 outsider Dare And Go. The first filly to win the race was Beholder, as she won the race by a dominant eight and a quarter lengths in 2015.


California Chrome is the only previous Kentucky Derby winner to have won the race. Accelerate’s victory in 2018 was by the widest margin, as he won by a massive 12 and a half lengths. However, the speed record holder remains Candy Ride, who finished in a time of 1:59.11.

Pacific Classic Betting Information


There are a number of ways that gamblers can get involved when it comes to the Pacific Classic. The leading sportsbooks will offer competitive prices for the race, and the markets that you can expect to bet on can be found below:


  • Win: Betting on the winner of the Pacific Classic the most popular wager that gamblers can make.

  • Place: Place betting is also extremely popular. To get returns, gamblers must bet on a horse to finish in the first two.

  • Exacta: Gamblers can also wager on the Pacific Classic by staking money on the first two horses past the post.

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