2021 Pacific Classic Picks

Saturday, August 21 is the flagship race day at Del Mar: the Pacific Classic (G1). The race offers a $1 million purse, and its winner is awarded a Win and You’re In bid to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).

Betting on this horse race has a long history of drawing the best handicap division horses. Its winners include California stars Bertrando and Free House, top sire Candy Ride, the ageless Game On Dude, the hard-trying Shared Belief, and Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome. This year, nine horses have entered for their chance to join this illustrious list of winners.

Where to Bet the Pacific Classic

Though it is important to pick the right horse in the Pacific Classic, there is one thing you need to do before picking your horse. You need to find the best place to bet the Pacific Classic online. Betting with the right sportsbook can help you make it the most profitable experience, by giving you access to the best odds, bonuses, deposit, and cash-out options.

Though there are many online sportsbooks, our sportsbook reviews can help you make sense of the offerings. Our guide to the best online sportsbooks can help you understand what is out there, and choose the best one for your betting style. Once you have found your favorite, you can create your account and be sure that you are getting the most for your money when you bet the Pacific Classic online!

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History of the Pacific Classic

The Pacific Classic is the flagship race of the summer season at Del Mar. The race began in 1991 with a $1 million purse. Though last year’s purse was cut in half due to COVID-19 interruptions in horse racing, the 2021 Pacific Classic is back with its customary million-dollar purse and ready to challenge the top handicap horses in the west.

One of the most shocking moments in horse racing history happened in the 1996 Pacific Classic. That year, Cigar was going for his 17th straight victory, attempting to beat Citation’s string of 16 wins in a row. However, he was upset by 39-1 longshot Dare and Go.

Another great moment in horse racing happened in the 2015 edition of the race, when champion mare Beholder romped against males in the Pacific Classic. The first filly or mare to win the race, she blew clear in the stretch to win by 8 ¼ lengths, one of the largest winning margins in the race’s history.

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Pacific Classic Horses

Here is the official field for the 2021 Pacific Classic. This includes post positions for each horse, as well as their trainers and jockeys for this race, and morning line odds from the racetrack.

  1. Tripoli (John Sadler/Tiago Pereira) – 5-1
  2. Tizamagician (Richard Mandella/Flavien Prat) – 5-1
  3. Dr Post (Todd Pletcher/Joel Rosario) – 4-1
  4. Royal Ship (Richard Mandella/Mike Smith) – 7-2
  5. Express Train (John Shireffs/Juan Hernandez) – 3-1
  6. Magic On Tap (Bob Baffert/Abel Cedillo) – 20-1
  7. Independence Hall (Michael McCarthy/Florent Geroux) – 5-1
  8. Sheriff Brown (Todd Fincher/Edwin Maldonado) – 30-1
  9. Cupid’s Claws (Craig Dollase/Umberto Rispoli) – 15-1

Though these are the morning lines, these are not the odds you are guaranteed to get on race day. Your best chance to get the best odds on the 2021 Pacific Classic is to make an account at one or more of the top online racebooks, see what odds they are offering on the horse you think will win the Pacific Classic, and bet the Pacific Classic online when you are getting an overlay on a horse you like.

BovadaBetOnlineBetUS
Express Train+300+300+300
Royal Ship+350+350+350
Dr Post+400+400+400
Tizamagician+500+500+500
Tripoli+500+500+500

Free Pacific Classic Picks

With nine horses entered and none looking like a clear standout on paper, the 2021 Pacific Classic should be an excellent betting race. Let’s look into the field and find out which horses are the best bets!

Pacific Classic Handicapping

#5 Express Train looks strong in the Pacific Classic. He loves the Del Mar racing surface, and has the tactical speed to work out a good trip in the race. Though he has yet to win at a mile and a quarter, he has two strong in-the-money efforts over the distance. This race looks like an excellent spot for him to break through at the Grade 1 level.

#3 Dr Post ships west for trainer Todd Pletcher. After a disappointment in the Met Mile (G1), he put on blinkers and stretched back out to two turns for the Monmouth Cup (G3) and looked as strong as ever.  He is improving at the right time, and his victory in the Westchester (G3) also shows that he can run a strong race under these Lasix-free conditions.

#1 Tripoli is another improving new face. He was most recently second in the San Diego Handicap (G2) behind Express Train, but beaten only half a length in that effort. It was a strong first effort in a graded stakes race, and shows he can handle both the Del Mar dirt and graded company well. And, though he is an off-pace type, he does not have to drop too far back.

For a longer shot, consider #6 Magic On Tap. He can be forgiven for stumbling at the start last out; his other two races at Del Mar were good. Though he is only a graded stakes winner going one turn, he is by Tapit out of a Street Sense mare, giving him some upside to try a longer distance like this. He is also lightly-enough raced to still find improvement.

Pacific Classic Best Bets

Here are your best bets for the 2021 Pacific Classic!

  • $10 Win: #5 Express Train
  • $5 Exacta Key: #5 Express Train with #3 Dr Post and #1 Tripoli
  • $1 Trifecta Key: #5 Express Train with #3 Dr Post, #1 Tripoli, and #6 Magic On Tap

Make these bets and more at top sportsbooks.

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Tonya Holms

Tonya has been working in the horse racing industry for nearly two decades, moving up from groom to horse owner, to marketing and media. She learned the tricks of handicapping while working in horse racing broadcasting both in the United States and Canada. In her spare time, she loves to read and take care of the farm animals: sheep, goats, ducks, and chickens.