(From Del Mar)
Nineteen top-notch runners, including four millionaires and a pair of 3-year-olds, have been nominated to run in Del Mar's $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on Sept. 6.
Headlining the nominations are multimillionaires Asiatic Boy, owned by Sheikh Mohammed and trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, and Einstein, owned by Midnight Cry Stable and trained by Helen Pitts-Blasi. Those two are among the top 10 in career earnings of horses still in training, Asiatic Boy fourth with $3.2 million and Einstein eighth with $2.7 million.
The rest of the nominees: Awesome Gem, trained by Craig Dollase; Colonel John, Eoin Harty; Global Hunter, A.C. Avila; Hold Me Back, Bill Mott; Informed, Doug O'Neill; Laddies Poker, also O'Neill; Mast Track, Bobby Frankel; Misremembered , Bob Baffert; Parading, Shug McGaughey III; Quarter Moon, Mel Stute; Rail Trip, Ron Ellis; Ready's Echo, Todd Pletcher; Richard's Kid , Baffert; Song of Navarone, Walther Solis; Tizway, H. James Bond; Tres Borrachos, Beau Greely, and Unusual Suspect, Barry Abrams.
The 3-year-olds nominated are Misremembered, winner of Hollywood Park's Swaps Stakes (gr. II), and Hold Me Back, winner of the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) and runner-up in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). The 3-year-olds will be assigned 118 pounds and the older horses will carry 124. In the past, when the race was run in August, 3-year-olds carried 117 pounds, but because the race is in September for the first time, the scale of weights calls for 3-year-olds to carry a pound more.
Hold Me Back gives Hall of Fame trainer Mott a chance to be a back-to-back winner of the Pacific Classic a la fellow Hall of Famers Robert Frankel and Richard Mandella. Mott won last year's running with Go Between. Frankel has won the race six times (four of the first five) and Mandella three times.
Entries will be taken Sept. 2.
Einstein, one of the expected favorites, is scheduled to arrive Aug. 21 in order to get acquainted with the Polytrack surface.