Hronis Racing LLC's TRIPOLI continued his Classic division ascent, rolling home impressively on Saturday's $1,000,000 Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar, with jockey Tiago Pareira aboard. It was his second graded stakes victory over the dirt, a surface he's only had three starts on. His first 11 starts had all been on turf.
The win gave Hronis Racing and trainer John Sadler their third Pacific Classic title in the last four years, and earned TRIPOLI an automatic berth into the Breeder's Cup Classic at Del Mar on November 6th.
"It feels great to win it again, and you've got to give all the credit to the barn," said Kostas Hronis.
"Tiago rode a great race. It's the only race he rode today because he wanted to focus on it. This horse has matured and just keeps coming along and today he proved himself. We didn't know if he could go a mile and a quarter, but today we found out."
Sent off at odds of $6.50-to-win, TRIPOLI broke alertly but conceded the lead for a tracking trip in third along the rail, while pacesetter TIZAMAGICIAN set the tempo of 23.52 and 46.98 for opening fractions. INDEPENDENCE HALL applied the pressure from second.
Turning for home, the rail opens up but Pareira forgoes the option—electing to send TRIPOLI to the outside of TIZAMAGICIAN, paving way for a stretch duel, while the others were far back and of no consequence.
TRIPOLI had the better momentum! He simply had much more in the tank, as he seized the lead in the final furlong and edged clear late for the win.
TIZAMAGICIAN finished second, five lengths better than the rest of the field, while DR POST made a late rally to get up for third. The final time for the one mile and one-quarter distance was 2:02.37.
TRIPOLI paid $15.00 to win, $7.80 to win, and $4.80 to show. He is by KITTEN'S JOY out of LOVE TRAIN by TAPIT. Officially a Grade 1 winner, he pushed his earnings just over $811,900 and tied his top speed figure for the second time.
"He looked good all the way," said winning trainer John Sadler. "He broke on his feet so (jockey Tiago Pereira) was able to tuck him in there and he looked comfortable all the way around. When (Independence Hall) started to slow up we were in a good spot. He had a perfect trip, give the rider a lot of credit. He rode him perfectly."
Source: Equibase, DMTC