The Del Mar paddock will be packed for the Pacific Classic Aug. 19

The Del Mar paddock will be packed for the Pacific Classic Aug. 19

Benoit Photo

Weekend Stakes Rundown: Pacific Classic Day

A pair of grade 1 races highlight Del Mar's biggest weekend.

Each week BloodHorse.com looks forward to the weekend's biggest races. Consider this your weekly guide to the best stakes races in North America. This week we have a pair of grade 1 races on Del Mar's biggest weekend, the Alabama (G1) at Saratoga Race Course, and the third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. Races are listed in chronological order (all times Eastern) and full previews can be found through the link for each race.

Saturday, Aug. 19

4:47 p.m.—$175,000 Play the King Stakes (G2T) at Woodbine

Tower of Texas, who finished second in last year's Play the King, will look to secure his second grade 2 win of the year, following a score in the Connaught Cup Stakes at Woodbine June 3. Tower of Texas is out of 2015 Canadian Broodmare of the Year Rare Opportunity, and was a finalist for the Sovereign Award for 2016 champion male sprinter.

Entries: Play the King S. (G2T)

Woodbine, Saturday, August 19, 2017, Race 8

  • Grade IIT
  • 7f
  • Turf
  • $175,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 4:47 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11We Deer You (FL)Emma-Jayne Wilson117Michael J. Trombetta20/1
22Tombelaine (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateAlan Garcia117Chad C. Brown7/2
33Dowse's Beach (NY)Rafael Manuel Hernandez117Brad H. Cox6/1
44Glenville Gardens (KY)Gary Boulanger121Sid C. Attard12/1
55Tower of Texas (ON)Keeneland Sales GraduateEurico Rosa Da Silva123Roger L. Attfield2/1
66Calgary Cat (ON)Luis Contreras121Kevin Attard3/1
77Conquest Panthera (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduatePatrick Husbands117Mark E. Casse10/1
88Hootenanny (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJesse M. Campbell117Wesley A. Ward15/1

5:02 p.m.—$300,000 Lake Placid Stakes (G2T) at Saratoga Race Course

For Proctor's Ledge victory would be another step up after she closed to win the July 21 Lake George Stakes (G3T) on Saratoga's opening day. The win was the most significant yet for Patricia Moseley's daughter of Ghostzapper , after she finished third, fourth, and second in the Appalachian Stakes Presented by Japan Racing Association, Edgewood Stakes Presented by Forcht Bank, and Regret Stakes—all grade 3 events.

Entries: Lake Placid S. (G2T)

Saratoga Race Course, Saturday, August 19, 2017, Race 8

  • Grade IIT
  • 1 1/8m
  • Turf
  • $300,000
  • 3 yo Fillies
  • 5:02 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Coasted (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJose L. Ortiz118Leah Gyarmati8/1
22Party Boat (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJoel Rosario118H. Graham Motion4/1
33La Coronel (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFlorent Geroux122Mark E. Casse8/5
44Proctor's Ledge (KY)Javier Castellano120Brendan P. Walsh5/2
55Berned (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRajiv Maragh114H. Graham Motion15/1
66Uni (GB)Irad Ortiz, Jr.118Chad C. Brown3/1

5:40 p.m.—$600,000 Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course

Salty's main source of angst, nemesis Abel Tasman, is sitting this dance out. After she suffered three straight defeats at the hands of multiple grade 1 winner Abel Tasman, Salty has a chance to snag a top-level score for herself in the Alabama, provided she can turn back the wall of determined distaffers also looking to take advantage of the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner's absence.

Entries: Alabama S. (G1)

Saratoga Race Course, Saturday, August 19, 2017, Race 9

  • Grade I
  • 1 1/4m
  • Dirt
  • $600,000
  • 3 yo Fillies
  • 5:40 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11New Money Honey (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJavier Castellano121Chad C. Brown6/1
22Holy Helena (ON)John R. Velazquez121James A. Jerkens4/1
33It Tiz Well (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateDrayden Van Dyke121Jerry Hollendorfer12/1
44Lockdown (KY)Manuel Franco121William I. Mott5/1
55Unchained Melody (KY)Joel Rosario121Brian A. Lynch3/1
66Salty (KY)Tyler Gaffalione121Mark E. Casse9/2
77Elate (KY)Jose L. Ortiz121William I. Mott6/1
88Mopotism (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFlorent Geroux121Doug F. O'Neill20/1
99Actress (KY)Irad Ortiz, Jr.121Jason Servis15/1

5:49 p.m.—$100,000 Violet Stakes (G3T) at Monmouth Park

Pricedtoperfection, the only graded winner in the field, will look to secure her first victory since the Sweetest Chant Stakes (G3T) at Gulfstream Park in January of 2016. The Temple City  filly is winless in six starts since, but has never finished worse than fourth during that stretch, including a trio of stakes placings.

Entries: Violet S. (G3T)

Monmouth Park, Saturday, August 19, 2017, Race 11

  • Grade IIIT
  • 1 1/8m
  • Turf
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 5:45 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Always Thinking (KY)Albin Jimenez116Thomas Albertrani10/1
22Light Up Our World (IRE)Daniel Centeno116Arnaud Delacour5/2
33Gianna's Dream (OK)Keeneland Sales GraduateAntonio A. Gallardo116Michael J. Maker7/2
44Tricky Escape (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateChristopher P. DeCarlo116Lynn A. Ashby6/1
55Arraign (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateEdwin Gonzalez116Michael R. Matz6/1
66Beauly (GB)Declan Cannon120Brendan P. Walsh4/1
77Cayman Croc (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateNik Juarez116Kelly J. Breen8/1
88Pricedtoperfection (KY)Nik Juarez116H. Graham Motion3/1
99Camille Claudel (KY)UNKNOWN116Francis Abbott, III8/1

7:30 p.m.—$150,000 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park

Defending his home turf is Riversedge Racing Stables' Trooper John. The son of Colonel John is riding a five-race win streak, including a 9 1/2-length blowout last time out in the Count Lathum Handicap at Northlands Park.

Entries: Canadian Derby (G3)

Northlands Park, Saturday, August 19, 2017, Race 11

  • Grade III
  • 1 3/8m
  • Dirt
  • $150,000
  • 3 yo
  • 5:30 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Captain Will (AB)Shamaree Muir122George Ron Scott15/1
22Trooper John (PA)Keeneland Sales GraduateKeishan Balgobin122Tim Rycroft8/5
33Big Kaz (AB)Scott Sterr122Tom Rycroft20/1
44Chief Know It All (KY)Rico W. Walcott122Robertino Diodoro2/1
55Double Bear (ON)Dane Nelson122Rodney J. Cone12/1
66Aqua Frio (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRigo Sarmiento122Monica Russell3/1
77Dublin Day (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRey Williams122Robbin Martens20/1
88Alberta Strong (KY)Damario Bynoe122Craig Robert Smith20/1

8 p.m.—$250,000 Del Mar Handicap (G2T) at Del Mar

Trainer Phil D'Amato has three entrants—including last-out Eddie Read Stakes (G2T) winner Hunt—but one has particularly shown an affinity for the Del Mar grass during his 44-race career. Michael House's Big John B is the only runner in a 13-horse field that has multiple wins on the Del Mar turf. The two-time winner of the 1 3/8-mile Del Mar Handicap (2014 and 2015) has three wins overall from four starts on the lawn at the seaside racetrack.

Entries: Del Mar H. Presented by The Japan Racing Association (G2T)

Del Mar, Saturday, August 19, 2017, Race 7

  • Grade IIT
  • 1 3/8m
  • Turf
  • $250,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 5:13 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Liam the Charmer (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateVictor Espinoza116Michael W. McCarthy12/1
22Inordinate (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRafael Bejarano118Richard Baltas8/1
33Big John B (FL)Corey S. Nakatani118Philip D'Amato12/1
44Editore (BRZ)Tiago Josue Pereira115Paulo H. Lobo30/1
55Itsinthepost (FR)Tyler Baze122Jeff Mullins4/1
66Monster Bea (KY)Joseph Talamo116Mark E. Casse20/1
77Flamboyant (FR)Brice Blanc118Patrick Gallagher15/1
88Ashleyluvssugar (CA)Gary L. Stevens123Peter Eurton7/2
99He Will (CA)Mike E. Smith115Jerry Hollendorfer12/1
1010Up With the Birds (ON)Jamie Theriot117Philip D'Amato20/1
1111Hunt (IRE)Flavien Prat122Philip D'Amato3/1
1212Mr. Roary (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateSantiago Gonzalez117George Papaprodromou12/1
1313Prime Attraction (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateStewart Elliott115James M. Cassidy20/1

8:30 p.m.—$1 million Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar

The only one capable of answering whether Arrogate is still the dominant force of the handicap ranks is the gray beast himself. If he can put himself back on form against seven others when he breaks from the outside post at Del Mar less than a month after the worst race of his life in the TVG San Diego Handicap (G2), hindsight could view his stunning setback as a blip that exposed him as mortal, but not lesser.

Entries: $1 Million TVG Pacific Classic S. (G1)

Del Mar, Saturday, August 19, 2017, Race 8

  • Grade I
  • 1 1/4m
  • Dirt
  • $1,000,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 5:45 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Royal Albert Hall (GB)Corey S. Nakatani124Kristin Mulhall30/1
22Collected (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMartin Garcia124Bob Baffert5/2
33Accelerate (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateVictor Espinoza124John W. Sadler3/1
44Sorry Erik (KY)Kent J. Desormeaux118J. Keith Desormeaux30/1
55Hard Aces (KY)Santiago Gonzalez124John W. Sadler20/1
66Donworth (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMario Gutierrez124Doug F. O'Neill15/1
77Curlin Road (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFlavien Prat124Doug F. O'Neill20/1
88Arrogate (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMike E. Smith124Bob Baffert1/1

9:30 p.m.—$300,000 Del Mar Oaks (G1T) at Del Mar

The San Clemente Handicap (G2T) is the logical prep race for the Del Mar Oaks practically every year, but only one horse this century (Evening Jewel in 2010) has won both. Slam Dunk Racing's San Clemente winner Madam Dancealot will look to complete the rare double, a year after another Richard Baltas trainee, Mokat, failed to do so.

Entries: Del Mar Oaks Presented by The Jockey Club (G1T)

Del Mar, Saturday, August 19, 2017, Race 10

  • Grade IT
  • 1 1/8m
  • Turf
  • $300,000
  • 3 yo Fillies
  • 6:45 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Kenda (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateTyler Baze122Philip D'Amato20/1
22Madam Dancealot (IRE)Jamie Theriot122Richard Baltas9/2
33Blame It On Alphie (KY)Victor Espinoza122Richard E. Mandella20/1
984Pistol Packin Rose (KY)SCRATCHED0UNKNOWN-
45Con Te Partiro (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFlavien Prat122Wesley A. Ward7/2
56Meadowsweet (KY)Kent J. Desormeaux122Clifford W. Sise, Jr.12/1
67Vexatious (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRafael Bejarano122Neil D. Drysdale8/1
78Kathy's Song (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateGary L. Stevens122Richard Baltas15/1
89Storm the Hill (KY)Santiago Gonzalez122Peter Miller20/1
910Dream Dancing (KY)Julien R. Leparoux122Mark E. Casse6/1
1011Pacific Wind (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateCorey S. Nakatani122Peter Eurton12/1
1112Beau Recall (IRE)Joseph Talamo122Simon Callaghan6/1
1213Tapped (KY)Mike E. Smith122Jerry Hollendorfer8/1
1314Bernina Star (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateBrice Blanc122James M. Cassidy30/1

Sunday, Aug. 20

3:39 p.m.—$175,000 Sky Classic Stakes (G2T) at Woodbine

Dragon Bay, a 4-year-old Parading gelding, defeated Can'thelpbelieving and Pumpkin Rumble, second and third respectively, in the Nijinsky Stakes (G2T) July 29, and both will return to the Woodbine turf to try to turn the tables.

Entries: Sky Classic S. (G2T)

Woodbine, Sunday, August 20, 2017, Race 6

  • Grade IIT
  • 1 3/8m
  • Turf
  • $175,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 3:39 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Can'thelpbelieving (IRE)Joe Bravo119H. Graham Motion8/5
22Noble Thought (KY)Patrick Husbands117Malcolm Pierce10/1
33Starship Jubilee (FL)Luis Contreras118Kevin Attard5/2
44Dragon Bay (KY)Gary Boulanger123Stuart C. Simon2/1
55Pumpkin Rumble (PA)Jesse M. Campbell117Kevin Attard8/1
66Galileo's Spear (FR)Jerome Lermyte117Roger L. Attfield20/1

4:40 p.m.—$75,000 Ellis Park Debutante at Ellis Park

Trainer Kenny McPeek uses the word "special" to describe Normandy Farm's undefeated Sunny Skies, a daughter of champion Animal Kingdom  who won her debut at Keeneland by nine lengths before she took the Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs by 1 3/4 lengths.

Entries: Ellis Park Debutante S.

Ellis Park, Sunday, August 20, 2017, Race 7

  • STK
  • 7f
  • Dirt
  • $75,000
  • 2 yo Fillies
  • 3:40 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Mauk's Tuff (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRayan Gazader120William Mauk30/1
22Flight Queen (TX)Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.120W. Bret Calhoun10/1
33Waki Patriot (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJon Kenton Court120John A. Hancock8/1
44Laudation (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateGabriel Saez120Steven M. Asmussen8/1
55Amberspatriot (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateC.J. McMahon120John A. Hancock12/1
66Noblame (WV)Keeneland Sales GraduateChris Landeros120Joe Sharp20/1
77Kelly's Humor (KY)Shaun Bridgmohan120Brad H. Cox12/1
88Sunny Skies (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRobby Albarado122Kenneth G. McPeek9/5
99Lullingstone (OK)Keeneland Sales GraduateCalvin H. Borel118John A. Hancock30/1
1010Crossed (IN)Marcelino Pedroza120Genaro Garcia30/1
1111On the Hop (KY)Joseph Rocco, Jr.120Joan Scott12/1
1212Upset Brewing (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateCorey J. Lanerie120William B. Bradley7/2
1313My Peeps (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateAlonso Quinonez118Jack C. Van Berg30/1

4:47 p.m.—$400,000 Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine

While there won't be a Canadian Triple Crown champion this year, Prince of Wales Stakes winner Cool Catomine will vie for his second jewel of the series. Owned by Jack of Hearts Racing and J.R. Racing Stable, Cool Catomine has not yet raced on the turf, but an Aug. 9 work on the surface showed trainer John Ross that the supplemental entry is a contender.

Entries: Breeders' S.

Woodbine, Sunday, August 20, 2017, Race 8

  • STK
  • 1 1/2m
  • Turf
  • $400,000
  • 3 yo
  • 4:47 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Conquest Lemonraid (ON)Keeneland Sales GraduateJoe Bravo126Mark E. Casse4/1
22Channel Maker (ON)Keeneland Sales GraduateRafael Manuel Hernandez126William I. Mott5/2
33King and His Court (ON)Gary Boulanger126Mark E. Casse10/1
44Lookin At Bravo (ON)Emma-Jayne Wilson126Kevin Attard20/1
55Major Eclipse (ON)Jesse M. Campbell126Roger L. Attfield15/1
66Woodbridge (ON)Alan Garcia126Michael Keogh15/1
77Glencairn (ON)Jerome Lermyte126Roger L. Attfield20/1
88Seeking Albert (ON)Keeneland Sales GraduateDavid Moran126Michael P. De Paulo10/1
99Final Copy (ON)Patrick Husbands126Roger L. Attfield3/1
1010Cool Catomine (ON)Luis Contreras126John A. Ross6/1

5:10 p.m.—$75,000 Ellis Park Juvenile at Ellis Park

Trainer Kenny McPeek says Ten City "might be one of the best I've ever had my hands on." Following a seven-length debut win at Keeneland in April, the Run Away and Hide  colt defeated eventual Saratoga Special (G2) winner Copper Bullet by 1 1/2 lengths in the June 30 Bashford Manor (G3) at Churchill Downs.

Entries: Ellis Park Juvenile S.

Ellis Park, Sunday, August 20, 2017, Race 8

  • STK
  • 7f
  • Dirt
  • $75,000
  • 2 yo
  • 4:10 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Trenton Traveler (FL)Declan Cannon118Mary Lightner30/1
22Undercover Lover (KY)Marcelino Pedroza120Bernard S. Flint30/1
33Orbatron (KY)Corey J. Lanerie118Steven M. Asmussen12/1
44Make Noise (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJon Kenton Court120Jack C. Van Berg10/1
55Big Iron (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateGabriel Saez120Bernard S. Flint8/1
66Private Vigilante (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateShaun Bridgmohan120Steven M. Asmussen8/1
77Ten City (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJack Gilligan122Kenneth G. McPeek8/5
88Ebben (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateBrian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.120Steve Margolis10/1
99Mugrosito (KY)Sergio Figueroa120Marco A. Castaneda50/1
1010Holding Fast (VA)Keeneland Sales GraduateArmando Martinez118Kelli Martinez50/1
1111Northern Trail (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateChanning Hill120Jack C. Van Berg15/1
1212Dak Attack (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRobby Albarado120Dale L. Romans3/1

8:30 p.m.—$200,000 Del Mar Mile (G2T) at Del Mar

Midnight Storm, who has five wins from six starts on the Del Mar turf, including four graded wins, hasn't raced on grass since a hard-trying third in the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1T) at Santa Anita Park. But late in 2016 and early in 2017, it appeared trainer Phil D'Amato might have a newfound force in the handicap division on the dirt when the son of Pioneerof the Nile  won the Native Diver Stakes (G3) by 7 3/4 lengths and the San Pasqual Stakes (G2) by 1 1/4 lengths.

Entries: Del Mar Mile H. (G2T)

Del Mar, Sunday, August 20, 2017, Race 8

  • Grade IIT
  • 1m
  • Turf
  • $200,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 5:33 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Vyjack (KY)Flavien Prat120Philip D'Amato7/2
22Om (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateGary L. Stevens122Dan L. Hendricks7/2
33Bal a Bali (BRZ)Mike E. Smith125Richard E. Mandella5/2
44Midnight Storm (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRafael Bejarano124Philip D'Amato2/1
55Blackjackcat (KY)Kent J. Desormeaux119Mark Glatt6/1
66Le Ken (ARG)Drayden Van Dyke119Ignacio Correas15/1