Pacific Classic Returns to ESPN

From Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's premier event -- the $1,000,000 Pacific Classic -- once again will be televised by ESPN when it is presented for the 11th time at the shore track on Sunday, August 19.

The grade I headliner will be shown live from 2 to 3 p.m. (PDT) as part of the network's "NTRA Racing to the Breeders' Cup" series.

"We're pleased to be on board again with the nation's foremost sports network," said Del Mar's president and general manager, Joe Harper. "The Pacific Classic is top-class racing and it's good to have a top-class partner to take the show around the country."

This will be the seventh time the 10-furlong Pacific Classic has been shown on ESPN. The first two runnings of the race were presented on ABC-TV, but from 1993 through 1998 the test for 3-year-olds and up was a summer regular on ESPN.

In 1999 the race was offered on FOX as part of the "NTRA Champions on FOX" series, while last year it was shown on TVG, the cable network that broadcasts racing exclusively.

"We're delighted to have the Pacific Classic back on our 'NTRA Racing to the Breeders' Cup' schedule," said Gary Morgenstern, director of brand management for ESPN. "ESPN is committed to bringing the best of Thoroughbred racing to our viewers, and the Pacific Classic is certainly one of the most important events annually on the national racing calendar."

The 2000 running of the Pacific Classic was taken by Juddmonte Farms' Skimming, who is expected to defend his crown in this year's edition. Second in last year's race was the subsequent Horse of the Year, Tiznow. His connections also have indicated that they will return for this year's renewal.

Del Mar's 43-day race meet opens on Wednesday, July 18.