07/27/2011 5:22PM

Blind Luck vs. boys?


The handicap division in California has been knocked to its knees.

First Dude is retired.

Twirling Candy might return to grass. Or, he might ship to Saratoga. “We’ve got three or four races we’re looking at, and we’re not committed to anything,” trainer John Sadler said Wednesday at Del Mar.

Setsuko is eligible for non-winners other than, although that may change Friday when he starts favored in the Cougar II Handicap.

That leaves Game on Dude at the top of the Pacific Classic list, the same Game on Dude that lost back-to-back Grade 3’s at Charles Town and Lone Star before recently finishing second in the Hollywood Gold Cup.

The Pacific Classic could use a new shooter.

Blind Luck earned a 106 Beyer last out, defeating Havre de Grace by a nose. Game on Dude earned a 106 Beyer last out, losing the Gold Cup by a nose. Advantage, neither.

Blind Luck is 2-for-2 at a mile and a quarter. Game on Dude has a win and a nose loss at a mile and quarter. Advantage, neither.

Blind Luck has a win and a second over Polytrack at Del Mar. Game no Dude has never raced on Polytrack; his only synthetic race was on the “dirt-like” Cushion Track at Hollywood Park. Advantage, Blind Luck.

Blind Luck would carry 119 pounds in the Pacific Classic; Game on Dude would carry 124. Advantage,  Blind Luck.

Blind Luck could ship cross-country again, and possibly face Havre de Grace again in the $300,000 Personal Ensign at Saratoga.

Or, Blind Luck could stay home and run for $1 million over her home track, against a West Coast handicap division that could use some help.

The slow crumble of the West Coast handicap division, and a $1 million purse, gives Blind Luck every incentive to stay home for the Pacific Classic at Del Mar.