TVG Pacific Classic Preview – Beholder vs The Boys

It is not too often that the girls compete against the boys but that is what we have tonight at 8:10pm CST in the TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar with a 5 year old mare “Beholder” competing against some of the top Classic division horses like Bayern, Catch A Flight, Hard Aces and Hoppertunity. Beholder is great horse and she is the morning line favorite.

This 1 1/4 mile race is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic and carries a $1 Million dollar purse. The race will be televised live on TVG. Due its 1 1/4 mile distance, this will be a good gauge for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Below are post positions, weights, jockeys and morning line odds:

PP horse (weight) jockey/trainer odds

1. Class Leader (124) Smith/Sadler 15-1
2. Bailoutbobby (124) Graham/O’Neill 20-1
3. Bayern (124) Bejarano/Baffert 6-1
4. Hard Aces (124) Espinoza/Sadler 5-1
5. Red Vine (124) Rosario/Clement 6-1
6. Imperative (124) Nakatani/Baltas 12-1
7. Catch a Flight (124) Prat/Mandella 9-2
8. Hoppertunity (124) Garcia/Baffert 5-1
9. Beholder (119) Stevens/Mandella 5-2
10. Midnight Storm (124) Baze/D’Amato 20-1

Overall, my thoughts. Beholder is a formidable opponent. She is riden by Gary Stevens, who chose Beholder over Catch A Flight for his ride. I am a bit surprised by this decision because Beholder has never raced longer than 1 1/8 mile distance. Martin Garcia chose Hoppertunity over Bayern for his mount. No surprise there, Hoppertunity has been a better horse than Bayern this year.

Although she is the 5/2 morning line favorite, I don’t think Beholder will win this race. She has never raced longer than 1 1/8 mile. However, I do think she will finish in the money. I think the win will come down to three horses: Hoppertunity, Catch A Flight and Hard Aces, with Beholder being in the mix but fading a bit at the end. Red Vine is 6/1 odds but hasn’t raced longer than 1 3/8 miles where he finished 4th in an allowance race. Imperative is a 12/1 odds and finished 3rd in last year’s Pacific Classic. But he has had a few stinker performances since then.

Bayern hasn’t done anything this year to make me believe in will finish in the Top 4 as he has faded out down the stretch in shorter distance races. So this rules out an expensive Superfecta Box with five horses including Bayern. Bailoutbobby, Class Leader and Midnight Storm are the three longshots. As far as longshots having a chance to finish in the Top 4, I like Bailoutbobby’s chances the best. So here is my betting advice. How about a $4 Boxed Superfecta with four horses (4-7-8-9). This would cost $96. And hope that the longer odds horse of the four (most likely Hard Aces) wins the race as it will pay out nicer.