08/14/2004 12:00AM

Longshots eye Pacific Classic


DEL MAR, Calif. - Two longshots, El Elogiado and Outta Here, are being considered for Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar.

If the two run, the expected field for the Pacific Classic would grow to at least nine, headed by Pleasantly Perfect. Others expected to run are Choctaw Nation, Colonial Colony, During, Night Patrol, Perfect Drift, and Total Impact. The race is run over 1 1/4 miles.

Pleasantly Perfect, the winner of the Dubai World Cup earlier this year, is trained by Richard Mandella, who also may start Olmodavor, the runner-up in the Washington Park Handicap on July 31.

Both El Elogiado and Outta Here have run at this meeting.

El Elogiado races for Sid and Jenny Craig and trainer Ron McAnally, who teamed to win the 2003 Pacific Classic with Candy Ride. Candy Ride has not started since the 2003 Pacific Classic but is in training for a possible comeback in the fall.

El Elogiado finished second in an allowance race over 1 1/16 miles on July 25, his second start in the United States. An Argentine-bred, El Elogiado, 4, was a Group 2 stakes winner in Argentina last October.

The well-traveled Outta Here has won 2 of 17 starts and $581,612. He finished third in the Escondido Handicap over 1 3/8 miles on turf here on Aug. 4. Trainer Bill Currin cautioned that Outta Here is far from a definite.

"I did ante up the $200 [to nominate]", Currin said. "If there is a herd of horses, I probably won't go. The horse's condition is excellent. I'm looking at some other races back East and I haven't come to a decision. I don't think it's as good as 50-50."

Longshots have done well in the 13-year history of the Pacific Classic. Dare and Go upset Cigar at 39-1 in 1996, Pacificbounty finished third at 37-1 in 1998, Dig for It was third at 44-1 in 2001, and Fleetstreet Dancer finished third of four at odds of 24-1 last year.

Time's not on Southern Image's side

Southern Image, one of the top handicap horses in the nation this year, is out of the Pacific Classic because of a quarter crack and is running out of time for the major races in the fall, trainer Mike Machowsky said.

Machowsky said "it's really sketchy now" whether Southern Image will be ready for the Breeders' Cup Classic at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30.

Earlier this week, Southern Image was fitted with new shoes. Over the weekend, he was supposed to return to jogging for the first time since late June, but Machowsky said there was heat in the colt's left front foot.

Machowsky is hoping that Southern Image can begin jogging this week.

"The one thing about him is he tunes up quick," Machowsky said.

After Southern Image won the Sunshine Millions Classic in late January, Machowsky did not work the colt for two weeks because of a tender foot. Southern Image won the Santa Anita Handicap in his next start on March 6.

Machowsky said that if Southern Image can return to training in coming days there may be time for a prep race in advance of the Breeders' Cup. "I'd like to have a prep race," he said.

Ticker Tape heads Del Mar Oaks

There are two major stakes on Saturday - the $300,000 Del Mar Oaks for 3-year-old fillies over 1 1/8 miles on turf and the $150,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap for fillies and mares over 6 1/2 furlongs.

The Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks is led by Ticker Tape, the upset winner of the $750,000 American Oaks at Hollywood Park on July 3. Other probable starters include Sweet Win, the winner of the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap on July 31; Seducer's Song, the winner of the Grade 3 Lake George Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 2; Lovely Rafaela, the winner of the Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park in June; and Agata, Amorama, Red Top, and Sagitta Ra.

Agata and Red Top recently arrived from Europe.

Agata is winless in seven starts, but ran third in the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary and fifth in the French Oaks in the spring. She arrived at trainer Julio Canani's stable in late July.

Red Top won a maiden race at Chester, England, in July, in her seventh start. She was stakes-placed at Ascot earlier this year. Paddy Gallagher is Red Top's new trainer.

On Saturday, Canani worked Amorama, who is winless in six stakes in this country. An import from France last year, Amorama was fifth in the American Oaks, losing by four lengths. She was 13th on the backstretch and rallied wide to miss third by a length at 62-1.

"She should have been third," Canani said.

"She's put on weight, she's very happy and she's doing better, " he added.

The same could not be said of Canani late Saturday morning. Amorama worked in company with Tsigane over five furlongs on turf, finishing in 1:04.40. Canani was angry that Amorama did not work faster.

The Rancho Bernardo Handicap is led by Dream of Summer, who won her first stakes in the A Gleam Handicap at Hollywood Park last month.

Adoration targets Arlington Matron

Adoration, unraced since winning the Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs on June 12, remains on course for a fall campaign that will start in the $150,000 Arlington Matron Handicap over 1 1/8 miles at Arlington Park on Sept. 4, trainer David Hofmans said.

The winner of the 2003 Breeders' Cup Distaff, Adoration was never seriously considered for the $300,000 Clement Hirsch Handicap at Del Mar last weekend, Hofmans said.

"Where else I am going to go?" Hofmans said of choosing the Arlington race. "I didn't want to go to Saratoga with that humidity."

Hofmans said the Grade 3 Arlington Matron may be Adoration's only prep for the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

"I think we'll go to Chicago and take it from there," he said.

Adoration has won 7 of 19 starts and $1,961,160.