08/15/2011 4:25PM

Del Mar: Pacific Classic gets two more candidates

Michael Burns
Don Cavallo, with Luis Contreras aboard, wins the Dominion Day Stakes.

DEL MAR, Calif. - The list of candidates for the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 28 grew over the weekend to include a Canadian stakes winner and a horse claimed for $40,000 on Saturday.

Don Cavallo, a 4-year-old colt owned by Frank Stronach, won the Grade 3 Dominion Day Stakes by 3 3/4 lengths in his last start on a Polytrack surface, which came at Woodbine, near Toronto, on July 1. Run over 1 1/4 miles, the same distance as the Pacific Classic, the Dominion Day was Don Cavallo’s first stakes win in his 13-race career. Trained by Roger Attfield, Don Cavallo has won 3 of 4 starts on synthetic tracks.

Achak, who won an optional claimer over 1 1/16 miles on Saturday, is another candidate, according to new co-owner Mark Verge.

“I said before the race, ‘If we win, we’re going to the Pacific Classic,’ ” Verge said. “We’ve got to swing for the fences. If we hit the board, we’d be out-of-control happy.”

Now trained by Doug O’Neill, Achak, 5, has won 9 of 31 starts and $261,253. An Irish-bred gelding, Achak was fifth in the Grade 3 Native Diver Handicap at Hollywood Park last December, his only stakes appearance in the United States.

The list of probable starters for the Pacific Classic is led by Game On Dude and Twirling Candy, who were second and third in the Hollywood Gold Cup last month. Other contenders are Blind Luck, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2010, as well as Acclamation, Caracortado, Jeranimo, Setsuko, Spurrier, Stately Victor, Tres Borrachos, and Victory Pete.

Blind Luck is also being considered for the $250,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes at Monmouth Park or the Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga, both on Aug. 28, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said on Sunday.

Sunday, Twirling Candy worked seven furlongs in 1:25.20. At six furlongs, Caracortado worked in 1:11.80, and Jeranimo was timed in 1:12.40.

The Pacific Classic is part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge program, and its winner gets a fees-paid berth in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

BREEDERS' CUP CHALLENGE: Racing schedule, replays, and past winners »