2021 Pacific Classic Picks
Betting Picks

2021 Pacific Classic Picks

California’s best handicap horses clash on Saturday, August 21, 2021 for the Grade 1 Pacific Classic, the flagship race of the summer meet at Del Mar. With a full racing calendar back in session this year, after last year’s shortened season, the purse for the Pacific Classic is back at its customary level: a cool $1 million.

The Pacific Classic has been run since 1991, and has drawn some of the best dirt horses in the world over that time. From California stars Betrando and Free House to superstar sire Candy Ride to recent classics Shared Belief, Beholder, and California Chrome, the Pacific Classic has drawn some all-time greats.

The 2021 edition is full of rising stars who are hoping the Pacific Classic will be their stepping stone to Grade 1 glory. Major contenders in this race include Brazilian star Royal Ship, the consistent Express Train, the developing Dr Post, and the marathon specialist Tizamagician.

2021 Pacific Classic Field

These are the official entrants for the 2021 Pacific Classic, along with their post positions, trainers, and jockeys:

  1. Tripoli (John Sadler/Tiago Pereira) - 5-1

  2. Tizamagician (Richard Mandella/Flavien Prat) - 5-1

  3. Dr Post (Todd Pletcher/Joel Rosario) - 4-1

  4. Royal Ship (Richard Mandella/Mike Smith) - 7-2

  5. Express Train (John Shireffs/Juan Hernandez) - 3-1

  6. Magic On Tap (Bob Baffert/Abel Cedillo) - 20-1

  7. Independence Hall (Michael McCarthy/Florent Geroux) - 5-1

  8. Sheriff Brown (Todd Fincher/Edwin Maldonado) - 30-1 

  9. Cupid’s Claws (Craig Dollase/Umberto Rispoli) - 15-1

These odds are the morning line, the track’s best early estimation for what the odds on the race will look like. Your best chance to get the best odds on the Pacific Classic is to check the odds as the race comes closer, and place your bets when you are getting an overlay: odds that are better than what you think you should be getting on the horse.

Betting the Pacific Classic Online

Though a vacation to California to go see the Pacific Classic live sounds undoubtedly fun, not everyone can make it to California for the big race. If you are far from California, the best way to enjoy the Pacific Classic is to bet the race from the comfort of your own home.

There are many racebooks online, and choosing the right one can be difficult. Fortunately, our betting experts have evaluated many of the top online racebooks. Our sportsbook reviews offer detailed, trusted online information about your options. They can help you find the racebooks that give you the best odds, bonuses, and features for your personal betting style.

Placing your wagers at the right sportsbook is the best way to enjoy a secure and profitable betting experience for the Pacific Classic, and all year long!

BetUSBovadaMyBookie
Express Train+300+300+300
Royal Ship+350+350+350
Dr Post+400+400+400
Tizamagician+500+500+500
Tripoli+500+500+500

Pacific Classic Contenders

#5 Express Train is the one to beat in the Pacific Classic. He has tactical speed which plays well at Del Mar. He also has a strong liking for the track; in four starts, he has three wins and a second. He won his prep race in the San Diego Handicap (G1) over #1 Tripoli and #4 Royal Ship, as well.

The one major thing Express Train still has to prove is his ability to handle the mile and a quarter. He has hit the board both times he tried the distance, though he has yet to win over the distance. Even so, if he can get a trip closer to the pace he should have a better chance than he did in the Gold Cup (G1) at Santa Anita last time.

#3 Dr Post put blinkers on for the first time last out in the Monmouth Cup (G3), and looked an entirely new horse. He stayed the mile and an eighth as strongly as he ever had. Though he raced with Lasix that time, he won the Westchester (G3) smartly without it, suggesting he should be able to handle a Lasix-free Pacific Classic. He is improving at the right time.

#1 Tripoli has never won at Del Mar, but he came close last time in the San Diego Handicap (G2) in his graded stakes debut, suggesting the four-year-old is both improving and able to handle the footing. Though he has yet to try the mile and a quarter distance, his pedigree (by Kitten’s Joy out of a Tapit mare) suggests that he should be able to improve with more ground.

Though #4 Royal Ship fits on his best, he has been a horse who has so far found more of his better form at Santa Anita than Del Mar. The second-place finish in the Gold Cup (G1) two starts back is a positive for the mile and a quarter distance, but he will have to run a better race than he ever has over the dirt at Del Mar, against a solid field.

Class is the question for #2 Tizamagician. He comes out of a strong win in the Cougar II (G3), but he came up less than the best when asked to run against this kind of company in races like the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) and the San Pasqual (G2).  He will have to prove that he can rise to the challenge of this kind of company.

For anyone considering a longer shot for exotics, consider #6 Magic On Tap. His only poor effort at Del Mar came when he stumbled at the start, so if he can come away better he has a strong chance to improve. Even though his graded stakes win came over a shorter distance, the Tapit on top gives him some upside to stretch out, and he is still lightly-enough raced to find more.

Pacific Classic Best Bets

Here are your best bets for the 2021 Pacific Classic!

  • $10 Win: #5 Express Train

  • $5 Exacta Key: #5 Express Train with #3 Dr Post and #1 Tripoli 

  • $1 Trifecta Key: #5 Express Train with #3 Dr Post, #1 Tripoli, and #6 Magic On Tap

See below the top sportsbooks, like Bovada and MyBookie, where you can wager online and choose the best one for you: