Best Races At Del Mar During The Rest Of 2022

Flashiest and jockey Abel Cedillo, left, overpower Crew Dragon (Umberto Rispoli), right, to win the $100,000 Runhappy Oceanside Stakes, Friday, July 16, 2021 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar CA. © BENOIT PHOTO

It has already been an enthralling year of racing at Del Mar, with no shortage of sensational performances taking place at the track.


While the track doesn’t boast the Breeders’ Cup to bring the curtain down on the action in 2022, there remains a huge number of big races yet to be run at the track between now and the end of the season.


Some of the biggest can be found below or at TwinSpires Del Mar betting guide.


Pat O’Brien Stakes


The first big race on the agenda in the second half of the season at Del Mar is the Pat O’Brien Stakes. This Grade 3 is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race, with the winning horse earning their spot in the Dirt Mile.


A number of hopefuls looking to record success later in the year look set to compete, including the course and distance winner, American Theorem. Bob Baffert is the leading trainer in this race, as he has recorded seven victories. However, the race was won in 2021 by Richard Baltas-trained Ginobli.


Pacific Classic


The biggest race on the calendar in the second half of the season looks set to be the Pacific Classic. This race headlines a huge day of racing at the track, and many of the horses aimed towards the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic look set to be involved. Tripoli won the race in 2021 for trainer John Sadler, while California Chrome was the only Kentucky Derby winner to have won the Pacific Classic in 2016.


This year’s field looks set to be headlined by the extremely exciting Flightline. The Sadler-trained horse once again impressed when winning the G1 Metropolitan last year, and he is set to be taken on by San Diego Handicap winner Royal Ship, and Country Grammer, who won the G1 Dubai World Cup earlier in the year.


Del Mar Handicap


September 3rd looks to be an extremely high-quality day of racing at Del Mar, as the Del Mar Handicap will also be run on the same day. This race is a challenge series race for a place in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf, and will be run over a total distance of 1 3/8 miles.


A number of celebrated horses have excellent records in this race, including Arrogate, How Now and Big John B, who have all recorded two victories each. One of the leading contenders looks set to be Balnikhov for Philip D’Amato. The trainer has won this race three times in the previous four years, and his three-year-old has been in excellent form at the track this year, recently winning the Oceanside.


Green Flash Handicap


The final Breeders’ Cup Challenge race at the track comes on September 4th, as the G3 Green Flash Handicap offers a route into the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. This race has been a regular race at Del Mar since 2003, and was upgraded to Grade 3 status in 2019. The most recent winner of the race was Lieutenant Dan, while Chaos Theory and Mr Vargas have also won the race since it has been a graded affair.


Del Mar Futurity


The final day of racing at Del Mar this year takes place on September 11th, and the attention will be on potential runners that may be pointed towards the Kentucky Derby in 2023. The Del Mar Futurity is a Grade 1 affair, with Bob Baffert holding the record with 15 wins.


His most notable winner of this race came in 2014, as American Pharoah stormed to victory on the polytrack. His latest win came last year with Pinehurst. It promises to be a fascinating edition, as we get a first glimpse at the horses that may compete for the opening leg of the Triple Crown.


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