08/21/2013 2:02PM

Del Mar: Pacific Classic scenario could benefit Jeranimo

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Benoit & Associates
Jeranimo (left) wins the Eddie Read Stakes.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – The large field expected for Sunday’s $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar may work in favor of a proven closer such as Jeranimo.

At least, that’s the way trainer Mike Pender envisions the race unfolding. With runners such as race favorite Game On Dude, the Canadian stakes winner Delegation, and the longshots Blueskiesnrainbows and Endorsement capable of contributing to quick fractions, Pender hopes Jeranimo will be positioned to win the richest race of his career.

“I think Game On Dude will be up against it,” Pender said. “For the most part, it will set up for [horses such as] Dullahan and Jeranimo.”

Dullahan won the 2012 Pacific Classic, and is back from Kentucky for this year’s race.

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A field of 13 is expected. Trainer A.C. Avila said on Wednesday that he plans to start Holding Glory, a Group 1 winner in Brazil last year, and save the Brazilian Group 1 winner Hawk’s Eyes for the $90,000 Harry Brubaker Stakes over a mile on the main track on Aug. 31. Holding Glory was also entered for Saturday’s $200,000 Del Mar Handicap on turf.

Blueskiesnrainbows, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, was a late addition to the Pacific Classic field. The race has one female in the filly Byrama, the winner of the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park in June, and a troubled third in the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch Stakes here on Aug. 4.

Post positions were scheduled to be drawn at a social event on Wednesday evening. The race is part of the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In program, offering a fees-paid berth to the BC Classic at Santa Anita in November.

[BREEDERS' CUP CHALLENGE: Win and You’re In schedule and results]

The other expected runners are Farraaj, Kettle Corn, Liaison, Richard’s Kid and You Know I Know.

Jeranimo finished eighth of nine in the 2011 Pacific Classic, and did not start in the race last year.

Owned by Robert LaPenta and B.J. Wright, Jeranimo has raced primarily on turf. He has won two stakes this year – the Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes at Santa Anita and the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes here on July 20. A 7-year-old horse by Congaree, Jeranimo has won 10 of 35 starts and $1,400,864. He won the Grade 2 Strub Stakes at Santa Anita when that track had a synthetic surface.

The Pacific Classic is run over 1 1/4 miles of Polytrack, and will be the longest race of Jeranimo’s career.

“He’s a very adaptable, rateable and kind of horse,” Pender said. “At a mile and a quarter, we’re taking away his turn of foot. This is more of a grinder’s race. If there is a horse that can be adaptable, it’s Jeranimo.”

[DEL MAR 2013: Complete meet coverage, schedule, race replays]