Game On Dude Heads Del Mar’s $1 Million Race

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Some of the nation’s best Thoroughbreds in TVG Pacific Classic.

Paddock at Del Mar

The 23rd running of Del Mar’s richest and most prestigious stakes race will be a spectacle to behold as a select field of world-class Thoroughbreds run in the $1 Million TVG Pacific Classic on Sunday, August 25.

Likely favorite for this year’s edition of the 10-furlong headliner is one of the nation’s top older horses – Game On Dude, the winner of more than $5-million in purses who is owned by a partnership that includes among its members the star baseball player and manager Joe Torre. The 6-year-old gelding is a perfect four-for-four this year and will be going for a sweep of Southern California’s three major racing events after having already captured the Santa Anita Handicap and the Hollywood Gold Cup.

Among Game On Dude’s major challengers for the rich feature are last year’s winner – the colt Dullahan, who’ll again come in from Kentucky to run in the race; Richard’s Kid, the now 8-year-old who already has won the Pacific Classic twice – in 2009 and 2010, and million dollar earner Jeranimo, who comes into the race off a sharp tally in Del Mar’s Grade I Eddie Read Stakes.

The excitement on the track will spill over into the stands, as the Pacific Classic adds heat to one San Diego’s hottest summer scenes. Fans are expected to come out to the track in droves, dressed to the nines in the finest fashions and trendiest hats the West Coast has to offer.

“Pacific Classic Day is a real winner at Del Mar,” said Joe Harper, president of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. “Race fans get to see an incredible caliber of horses compete and naturally, with an event this big, Del Mar transforms into a party scene just like Opening Day.”

The festive race weekend kicks off Friday, August 23, with a performance on the Seaside Stage by Soja, the Washington D.C.-based reggae band that has appeared at concerts and shows around the world. Saturday will feature the second “Donuts Day” of the season and “Haute As Ever,” a 40s pinup themed event slated to be the largest Instagram meet up in the world. All weekend, families can enjoy kid-friendly activities in the Infield including pony rides, a magic show and face painters. Patrons attending the $1 Million TVG Pacific Classic on Sunday will receive a free Del Mar long sleeve t-shirt, featuring a design created and selected by fans.

Racing at Del Mar happens Wednesdays through Sundays, with post time for the first race on most days at 2 p.m. On Fridays, first post is at 4 p.m. There will be a special Monday racing card on Labor Day, September 2. Additionally, there will be a special 1 p.m. first post on Pacific Classic Day. For more information, call 858-755-1141 or visit You can follow Del Mar on Twitter, @DelMarRacing, or become a fan on Facebook at

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Beth Wilkinson
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