08/02/2012 3:43PM

Saratoga: Dullahan may ship to Del Mar for Pacific Classic

Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
After a fifth-place finish in the Haskell, Dullahan's connections may give him another try on Polytrack.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. –Trainer Dale Romans said that Dullahan, fifth in last Sunday’s Haskell, could make his next start on the Polytrack at Del Mar against older horses in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic on Aug. 26.

“He came out of the race fine and he’s back at Churchill Downs right now,” said Romans. “We’re going to talk about it this week and see what our options are. The Pacific Classic is one of those options. I’d like to try him on the Poly again. Turf’s an option as well but really the big turf race is the Secretariat and Jerry has Finnegan’s Wake for that spot.”

Romans was referring to Jerry Crawford, whose Donegal Racing owns both Dullahan and Finnegan’s Wake.

“We’ll probably make a final decision in about a week,” said Romans.

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Romans also said there will be a rider change on Little Mike when he makes his next start in the Grade 1 Arlington Million on Aug. 18. Ramon Dominguez will replace Joe Bravo, who has guided Little Mike to four graded stakes wins, including the Grade 1 Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day. Bravo has the call aboard Turbo Compressor for trainer Todd Pletcher here on Aug. 18 in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer.

Little Mike, who is owned by Priscilla Vaccarezza, will attempt to stretch his speed to 1 1/4 miles for the first time in the Arlington Million.

“Joe had a double call and we didn’t want to let Ramon dangle out there and lose him, so we locked him up early,” said Romans.

Patty Dunavant More than 1 year ago
Dullahan is my choice for Pacific Classic
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Dullahan has a shot. I rank him tied for 4th best shot to win the Pacific Classic with possible no-show from the top 3 and dramatic improvements from Dullahan, he could win it. His opponents: 1) Acclamation: so far does not appear to be as good as last year. But he could peak in his third start of the form cycle. Dullahan will have to improve a lot to beat him. 2) Richard's Kid: two time winner of the Pacific Classic. Cutback from 12f to 10f will promote his late kick even more. Dullahan will have to outkick him, I don't think it will happen unless Richard's Kid has a rough trip. 3) Coil: in my opinion this horse is Baffert's co-best shot to win the Pacific Classic together with Richard's Kid (since it's never a lock to win a race with a deep closer). Unfortunately, he is more likely to run in the 7f Pat O'Brien on the Pacific Classic undercard. It is possible that Coil does not want to go 10 furlongs. Coil appears to love Del Mar, trained exceptionally well on it and ran a 93 BSF in his first race back in 10 months, in which he ran so effortlessly that it looked like he could have run 15 points or 6-7L better. His comeback race at 7f looked eerily similar to that of Game on Dude's prior to him winning the Santa Anita Handicap last year. I think they should definitely run Coil in the Pacific Classic. Dullahan will have to improve quite a bit to beat Coil in my opinion. 4) John Scott: this horse has tremendous heart but appears not to be fast enough. He would have to really relish the stretch out to 10f to have a shot, which is not impossible since he is by Bertrando who was as classy as they come, a very fast horse who could carry his speed over a distance of ground. I would rate him about equal to Dullahan with potential improvements to be seen from both. 5) Game on Dude: may not like the Del Mar polytrack. He was off the board for the only time last year in this race. He showed dislike for the track when he never even pulled Chantal to go after the frontrunner in the whole race, and Chantal asked him, he quit fairly abruptly. I like Dullahan better on the polytrack. 6) Rail Trip: 7yo now and definitely slower than when he was 4, probably with a worse foot problem. This horse is extremely talented but never showed the heart to win against really tough opponents. I rank Dullahan ahead of him already. 7) Take Control: outclassed and being a 5yo, he's not likely to improve much. He has no shot in this race. I like Dullahan much better than this horse. 8) Suggestive Boy: unproven on synthetics, not fast enough anyway. I would rank Dullahan ahead of him on synthetics.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
I THINK MOST FOLKS DON'T UNDERSTAND THE IDEA OF MAKING MONEY. DULLAHAN can run very well in the classic. He has a preference to synthetic surfaces, and there really are not that many top older horses in California. Game on Dude been crushing everyone. But who is everyone? A speed duel is possible in this race which benefits Dullahan's style. He deserves to be considered here.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
There will be pace in the Pacific Classic, a $1mil G1 race. Acclamation is also targeting this race. The Del Mar polytrack is generally fair but tend to be friendly to closers in route races. 2-time winner Richard's Kid will be formidable in that spot. Game on Dude had his only off the board finish in 2011 in the Pacific Classic, and Acclamation so far doesn't seem to be as dominant as last year. They will both be vying for favoritism at around 2-1, while Richard's Kid will be closer to 5-1. The cutback from 12f to 10f is a great handicapping angle for a stamina laden closer who keeps coming - he will show an even more powerful late kick than he showed in the 12f Cougar Handicap. I think he wins the Pacific Classic stylishly. The only suspense is whether Mike Smith will get the mount - he was two for two on Richard's Kid, both Pacific Classic wins.
Stephen Taylor More than 1 year ago
my guess is if Dullahan goes to the Pacific Classic he will be at least a double-digit price. This horse is a POLY HORSE!!! PERIOD!!! and if he's 15/1 or more (a very real possibility!) he's VERY betable!
Frederick Jones More than 1 year ago
Dullahan will be in way over his head vs. the older horses in California. Dullahan is not Generall Challenge or Came Home (wa CH a 3 year old when he won? - not sure) Anyways... Acclamation, Richard's Kid, Game On Dude (who looked good on Polytrack in the AM), and now Rail Trip...there is NO WAY Dullahan can stand up to these horses at this stage of his development. Dullahan reminds me of Mucho Macho Man as a 3 year old. He will be a much better four year old. Have Dullahan run on synthetic at Turfway on KY Cup Day and then let him be a horse until next year.
Robert More than 1 year ago
Ah, Game On Dude, Richards Kid, Acclamation, Rail Trip etc... Dullahan has no chance!!!
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
This thinking is wrong. Dullahan ran great in the Blue Grass Stakes and the Kentucky Derby, and those races would be 5 and 4 months ago when they run the Pacific Classic. A very good 3yo is supposed to improve quite a bit during that time, and after running in four straight top echelon grade 1 races, he will be battle tested enough and he will not be too hopelessly outclassed. The Pacific Classic makes sense for Dullahan. I hope more trainers and owners think like that.
David Koepp More than 1 year ago
I don't get it. Why not wait for Del Mar Derby one week later on 9/2
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
$1 miliion dollar reasons not to.
Lucifer More than 1 year ago
About time, this horse is SCREAMING for POLY...I just hope you haven't dulled him on dirt and quick turnaround.......
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Trainers just can't win can they? They're all either racing their horses too much or not enough. He must not think much of Dullahan on grass if he wants to put Finnegan's Wake in the Secretariat over him. After the Pacific Classic there aren't anymore big synthetic races. This may be his last chance all year to run in a G1 on synthetic. Plus, if you don't like him, the odds will go up on horses you do like. Just bet against him if you think he won't win.
James More than 1 year ago
Wait..doesn't Dullahan have two Grade 1 wins on Polytrack? Aren't those his only two wins? He has been on turf three times and is 0-2-1. How is racing him in the Pacific Classic on synthetic a bad move?
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
A gutsy but logical move. Dullahan is not that great on turf either. He lost to Optimizer and Howe Great rather handily on turf, but crushed them on synthetics. Both Keeneland and Del Mar main tracks are Polytrack, so are Turfway Park and Arlington Park. Although each Polytrack installation can vary somewhat in contents, layer specifics and drainage structure specifications, they are inherently the same design. In comparison, Meydan racecourse in Dubai, Woodbine in Toronto, and Presque Isle in Erie, PA, have the Tapeta surface, while Hollywood Park has the Cushion Track.