Updated on 08/19/2010 1:46PM

The Usual Q.T. headed to Pacific Classic

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Benoit & Associates
The Usual Q.T. will make his first start since finishing third behind Goldikova and Gio Ponti in the Breeders' Cup Mile when he runs in Monday's San Gabriel.

DEL MAR, Calif. – The Usual Q.T. was a few strides from reaching the wire in a six-furlong workout on the Polytrack surface at Del Mar when trainer Jim Cassidy rose from a seat in the grandstand and began walking toward the parking lot.

“There’s no doubt where I’m running,” he said.

Cassidy considered sending The Usual Q.T. to Arlington Park for the Arlington Million on turf on Aug. 21 but said the 4-year-old gelding will remain in California for the $1 million Pacific Classic here Aug. 28. The Pacific Classic will be The Usual Q.T.’s first start on a synthetic track since a disappointing ninth-place finish in the Sunshine Millions Classic at Santa Anita in January.

On Wednesday, The Usual Q.T. worked six furlongs in 1:13.80, the second-fastest of nine recorded works at the distance. Ridden in the workout by regular jockey Victor Espinoza, The Usual Q.T. worked alone and finished the last quarter-mile in 23.80, according to Cassidy’s stopwatch.

Cassidy dismisses The Usual Q.T.’s loss in the Sunshine Millions in January because the gelding raced near a quick pace early.

“The race set up badly for him,” Cassiday said.

The Usual Q.T. is winless in five starts on synthetic tracks but was second in three maiden races earlier in his career. The Usual Q.T. typically has workouts on the main track.

“He’s always handled the main track,” Cassidy said.

The Usual Q.T. has two Grade 1 stakes wins, both on turf – the Hollywood Derby last fall and the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes here last month. The Usual Q.T. has won 8 of 15 starts and $993,320.

Richard’s Kid works for Pacific Classic

Richard’s Kid, the defending champion of the Pacific Classic, zipped a half-mile in 46 seconds Wednesday, the fastest of 46 recorded works at the distance.

Trainer Bob Baffert said that Richard’s Kid will be ridden by Mike Smith in the Pacific Classic. Smith has not ridden Richard’s Kid since the 2009 Pacific Classic.

Richard’s Kid has started twice this summer, finishing third behind Awesome Gem in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup on July 10 and third to Temple City in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap over 1 1/2 miles here July 30. Martin Garcia was aboard for those races.

Richard’s Kid is on the same Del Mar stakes schedule as last year, when he finished second in the Cougar II Handicap before starting in the Pacific Classic.

“The other race was a stamina builder,” Baffert said of the recent start in the Cougar II.

The list of probable starters for the Pacific Classic includes Awesome Gem, Crowded House, Dakota Phone, Enriched, Hold Me Back, Isle of Giant’s, Temple City, and Unusual Suspect.

On Monday, Awesome Gem worked five furlongs in 1:01.60, his second workout since the Gold Cup.

Golden Itiz will try turf in La Jolla

Golden Itiz had a glorious run in the spring, winning three consecutive races, including the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap in his stakes debut at Hollywood Park on June 19.

The summer has been tougher. He was the likely favorite in the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park last month but was withdrawn from consideration a few days before the race because of an illness.

Nearly a month later, Golden Itiz is ready to resume racing, this time on turf in Saturday’s $150,000 La Jolla Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on turf for 3-year-olds. The Grade 2 La Jolla will be Golden Itiz’s first start on turf.

How he will perform is a mystery for trainer Ron Ellis.

“I really don’t know,” he said. “We’ll give it a try. This is the only option there is.”

Stakes for 3-year-olds around two turns at Del Mar are primarily on turf. After the La Jolla, the division’s main race of the meeting is the $300,000 Del Mar Derby on grass Sept. 5. There also is the $100,000 El Cajon Stakes over a mile on the main track, but the small purse keeps many leading 3-year-olds out of the race.

Owned by Mace and Samantha Siegel, Golden Itiz is unbeaten in two starts around two turns. He will be tested in the La Jolla, a field expected to include Snow Chief Stakes winner Alphie’s Bet; Santa Anita Derby winner Sidney’s Candy; Will Rogers Stakes winner Leroy’s Dynameaux; Summer Movie, who was third in the Swaps Stakes; and the promising Kid Edward, who is making his stakes debut.

Blind Luck drills for Alabama

Blind Luck, winner of the Kentucky Oaks and three other graded stakes this year, worked six furlongs in 1:14.60 on Wednesday, preparing for a start in the $500,000 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 21.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said Blind Luck will have one more workout at Del Mar, on Monday, before being sent to New York.

◗ Dancing in Silks, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint last November, worked five furlongs in 59.80 seconds on Wednesday, the fastest of 40 recorded works at the distance. Winless in two starts earlier this year at Santa Anita, Dancing in Silks is being pointed to the $75,000 Pirate’s Bounty Stakes here Sept. 8.