Horse racing

Jeff Nahill’s opinions for Saturday, Aug. 21 (Pacific Classic Day) UPDATED WITH SCRATCHES AND ALL RACES

FIRST RACE: 3-6-1-7

SECOND RACE: 4-3-7-8 NEW ORDER: 4-3-7-8

THIRD RACE: 4-1-5-7

FOURTH RACE: 4-2-1-7

FIFTH RACE: 11-6-9-10

SIXTH RACE: 4-7-1-6

SEVENTH RACE: 3-5-6-4 NEW ORDER: 3-5-6-1

EIGHTH RACE: 9-1-2-4

NINTH RACE: 7-3-1-9 (BEST BET)

10TH RACE PACIFIC CLASSIC (1 1/4 miles, main track): 1. #2 Tizamagician, 2. #4 Royal Ship, 3. #3 Dr Post, 4. #9 Cupid’s Claws. LONG SHOT: #6 Magic on Tap.
This is one tough race — to wit, I left out the morning-line favorite and San Diego Handicap winner Express Train (3-1). This event comes down to two thoughts for me: Was the Cougar II Stakes as good as it looks on numbers and the San Diego wasn’t, or is this such a mediocre bunch on the West Coast that Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher is trying to take advantage by entering a horse (Dr Post, 4-1) at Del Mar for the first time outside the Breeders’ Cup? I’m going to side with the Cougar race for one reason, and one reason only: Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. Wouldn’t it be something if the man that beat Cigar 25 years ago won today? Or maybe finished 1-2? Tizamagician (5-1) ran huge in the Cougar and leading jockey Flavien Prat stays aboard. Royal Ship (7-2), also trained by Mandella, finished third in the San Diego off a layoff and Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith keeps the mount. Dr Post is good and jockey Joel Rosario comes west to ride. Cupid’s Claws (15-1) finished second in the Cougar and if you like Tizamagician, don’t you have to like the gelding a little (plus Umberto Rispoli jumps on)? Finally, the bomber … Magic on Tap (20-1). He’s trained by that guy, yeah, Bob Baffert. This 5-year-old is bred up and down to love the distance and yet he’s never been a mile-and-a-quarter. Interesting.

RACE 11: 11-4-8-7

Good luck. Stay safe.

For the rest of my picks, go to:

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sports/horse-racing/story/2021-08-21/jeff-nahills-del-mar-spot-plays-and-opinions-for-saturday-aug-21-pacific-classic-day

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