Build it and they will come or maybe card it and they will televise it, eventually.
After several years of not being on national television, other than TVG (which is a sponsor of the race), the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s $1 million Pacific Classic has returned to the national airwaves, it was announced Monday.
The 1 1/4-mile race on the main track (Polytrack for its final year) will be shown by NBC Sports Network (NBCSN, Channel 65 on Cox Cable) from 5-6 p.m. PDT on Sunday, Aug. 24. That means the race will probably remain the ninth or 10th race on an 11-race program with a first post of 1 p.m. for the full card.
Over the years, the Pacific Classic has been shuffled around on the card to meet the needs of national television (mainly ESPN). It has been run earlier on the card and it has been run as late as 6:45 p.m. one year.
After the ridiculous practically night time post, Del Mar officials, starting with track president Joe Harper, decided to end the madness and run the race where they wanted, eschewing national exposure.
Now, Del Mar gets to keep its traditional post time and return to national television at the same time. A win, win in its eyes.
Personally, I think running the biggest race of the meet that late in the day defeats the purpose because some fans begin leaving the track after the fifth or sixth races due to the early first post. Plenty of fans never see the race at all due to that factor, but for Del Mar to be back on national TV is a good thing.
@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter
Sunday’s top choice winners: 3 (Cuneo $3.60, second race; Safety Belt $19.60, seventh; Beholder $2.20, eighth)
Sunday’s second choice winners: 4 (New Nature $9.60, first; Stoney Fleece $10.60, third; Happy Idea $6.20, sixth; Bench Light $6, ninth)
Sunday’s third choice winners: 0
Sunday’s long shot winners: 0