07/29/2011 2:53PM

Del Mar: Blind Luck may try Pacific Classic

Blind Luck has never faced males in her 21-race career.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Blind Luck will be nominated to the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 28, with the possibility that she will face males in that race and bypass a trip to New York or New Jersey for a late summer stakes, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said on Friday.

The champion 3-year-old filly of 2010, Blind Luck has won 12 of 21 starts and $3,279,520, but has never faced males in a career that includes 10 graded stakes wins.

Hollendorfer said the main choices for Blind Luck’s next start are the Pacific Classic or the $300,000 Personal Ensign Stakes for fillies and mares over 1 1/4 miles at Saratoga on Aug. 28. The $250,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes over 1 1/16 miles at Monmouth Park, also on Aug. 28, is the least likely option.

Hollendorfer said the Pacific Classic “would be one to look at. That’s not my style, but we might do it if it looks right.”

Run over 1 1/4 miles, the Pacific Classic is the richest race of the meeting. Hollendorfer rarely runs females against males, but the distance of the Pacific Classic and the fact that Blind Luck is based here are reasons that she might start.

“I ran Pike Place Dancer and Hystericalady against males,” Hollendorfer said. “I was successful doing that. I’ve only done it a handful of times in my life.”

Pike Place Dancer won the California Derby against males in April 1996, and won the Kentucky Oaks in her next start. Hystericalady won an optional claimer against males at Bay Meadows in April 2007 and the Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs a month later.

Co-owned by Hollendorfer, Mark DeDomenico, John Carver, and Peter Abruzzo, Blind Luck has won 3 of 6 starts this year.

Friday, Blind Luck worked five furlongs in 1:00 at Del Mar, her first workout since a nose win over arch rival Havre de Grace in the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap over 1 1/4 miles at Delaware Park on July 16.

Blind Luck worked alone, and appeared to quicken in early stretch before galloping out strongly.

“She was just breezing,” Hollendorfer said. “We gave her a good long time between races with the ship. It’s a good work to start back.”

New tote system in place

Sportech, which administers tote systems at Southern California tracks, has implemented new procedures for determining mutuel payoffs at California tracks after human error led to erroneous payoffs being briefly displayed and paid to fans at Del Mar on July 21.

According to a report issued by the California Horse Racing Board on Thursday, an employee in the tote room at Del Mar “entered an order of finish in the tote system different from the order entered by the stewards in the belief the stewards had entered the order incorrectly.”

In the seventh race on July 21, the entry of Jet Blue Girl and She’s Cheeky finished first and second, followed by Logical Single and Salty Sarah. In such circumstances, there should have been win, place, and show payoffs on the entry and a show payoff on Logical Single. On July 21, payoffs were briefly presented that offered payoffs on the entry, place, and show returns on Logical Single and a show payoff for Salty Sarah.

Track officials said the mistake was caught within two minutes before cashing was interrupted. By then, bettors had collected $1,063 less than they were entitled.

As a result, Sportech has started a policy in which authorization is required from a supervisor when similar situations occur. In addition, a computer monitor will be installed for placing judges and stewards to review payoffs before they become official.

All Star Heart headed for stakes

All Star Heart is bound for a stakes at Del Mar or Woodbine in September after winning her second consecutive race in an optional claimer over a mile on turf at Del Mar on Thursday.

Ridden by Brice Blanc, All Star Heart ($4.60) closed from seventh in a field of 10 to win by a half-length. It was her second win since falling in a turf race at Santa Anita last winter. “She’s developed into a really nice filly,” Blanc said. “Sometimes when they have a bad-luck deal they don’t comeback. She came back more mature or more confident.”

Trainer Ron McAnally said the $150,000 Palomar Handicap here on Sept. 5 or the $300,000 Canadian Stakes at Woodbine on Sept. 18 are possibilities.

Services set for George Shah

Funeral services will be held Tuesday for horse owner George Shah, who died on July 23 after a brief illness, according to his longtime partner, Anne Bedrosian.

Shah was 89. A native of California, he served in the Navy in World War II and owned catering and carpeting businesses earlier in life. In late years, his focus was on racing, as an owner and bettor, according to McAnally. With McAnally, Shah campaigned Doc Shah’s Siren, who won the 1975 Junior Miss Stakes at Del Mar.

Over the years, Shah had about 50 horses of all ages, including stallions, racehorses and mares, Bedrosian said. “What he earned, supported the races,” she said.

Services will be held at noon on Tuesday at the United Armenian Congregation Church, 3480 Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to one’s favorite charity.