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The Pacific Classic Stakes, a Grade I jewel in the crown of American Thoroughbred racing, unfurls its annual spectacle at the Del Mar Racetrack in the sun-kissed realms of Del Mar, California. Here, the finest three-year-olds and their seasoned counterparts embark on a daring voyage across one and one-quarter miles of the rugged dirt track every summer.

This electrifying event, bathed in the golden glow of tradition, boasts a dazzling purse of $1,000,000, beckoning the equestrian elite to vie for glory. Its story began on a fateful August 10th in 1991 when the racing world watched in awe as the inaugural edition unfolded, draped in a million-dollar purse. Best Pal, a three-year-old sensation and the reigning 1990 California Horse of the Year, etched his name in history by crossing the finish line in a swift 1:59:80.

Since that captivating debut, the Pacific Classic Stakes has never wavered from its Grade I stature, consistently showcasing the pinnacle of racing excellence. Amongst its vibrant tapestry of moments, the 1996 showdown remains etched in memory, as the legendary Cigar sought to surpass Citation's hallowed record of 16 consecutive victories but stumbled before the underdog brilliance of Dare And Go, a 39-1 long shot, partnered with the skilled jockey, Alex Solis.

Yet, it was a different kind of magic that illuminated the track in one remarkable running. In a blaze of history-making glory, Hall of Fame Jockey Julie Krone galloped into the annals of horse racing, becoming the first female rider to triumph in a million-dollar race. Her partnership with Sid and Jenny Craig's unbeaten Argentine sensation, Candy Ride, not only clinched victory but also set a blistering track record time of 1:59:11.



1 | Geaux Rocket Ride Richard E. Mandella / Mike E. Smith
2 | Katonah Doug F. O'Neill / Antonio Fresu
3 | Stilleto Boy Ed Moger, Jr. / Kent J. Desormeaux
4 | Tripoli T J Pereira / John W. Sadler
5 | Defunded Bob Baffert / Juan J. Hernandez
6 | Order And Law Robert B. Hess Jr. / Edwin A. Maldonado
7 | Slow Down Andy Doug F. O'Neill / Mario Gutierrez
8 | Senor Buscador Todd W. Fincher / Geovanni Franco
9 | Arabian Knight Bob Baffert / Flavien Prat
10 | Piroli Michael W. McCarthy / Umberto Rispoli
11 | Skinner John A. Shirreffs / Hector I. Berrios


2023 Arabian Knight Bob Baffert / Flavien Prat
2022 Flightline John W. Sadler / Flavien Prat
2021 Tripoli John W. Sadler / Tiago Josue Pereira
2020 Maximum Security Bob Baffert / Abel Cedillo
2019 Higher Power John W. Sadler / Flavien Prat
2018 Accelerate John W. Sadler / Joel Rosario



XB Blog

XB Blog


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