A total of nine horses, headed by defending champion General Challenge, have been nominated to the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) to be run at Del Mar Aug. 26. The other nominees for the 1 1/4-mile race are Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Early Pioneer; Forty One Carats, recently fourth in the San Diego Handicap (gr. III) at Del Mar; Washington Park Handicap (gr. II) winner Blazing Sword; 1999 Super Derby (gr. I) winner Ecton Park; Stronach Stables' Euchre; San Diego Handicap winner Skimming; River Keen, last in the San Diego Handicap; and 3-year-old Tiznow.
Tiznow put in a seven-furlong drill at Del Mar Thursday morning. The full brother of Budroyale was timed in a quick 1:23 4/5, getting the final half-mile in :47 2/5. The work was the fastest of four at the distance Thursday. Tiznow will start under 117 pounds for the Classic; all others will carry 124 pounds.
Although nine are nominated to the $1-million race, the field size may be somewhat smaller as the connections of several horses are uncertain they will enter their charges. Early Pioneer missed a couple days of training with a minor foot problem and his status will be determined after he works on Friday. Stonehedge Farm's Blazing Sword may run instead in the 1 1/8-mile Philip H. Iselin Handicap (gr. II) at Monmouth Park on Aug. 27. River Keen is also not certain to run.