The five-year-old gelding comes into the race off back to back wins in the California (G2) and Hollywood Gold Cup (G1). He was fourth in last year’s running of the race.
Baffert will give a leg up to jockey Chantal Sutherland and will carry 124 pounds in the 1 ¼ mile event contested over the polytrack surface.
Richard’s Kid, who was purchased privately this week and moved from the Baffert barn to the Doug O’Neill barn, is the 7-2 second choice on the morning line.
The seven-year-old has won the Pacific Classic twice in his career, winning in 2009 and again in 2010.
There are two intriguing runners that will try to pull off the upset, a filly and a three-year-old.
Neil Drysdale will send out the four-year-old filly Amani, who is coming off a third place finish in the Clement Hirsch (G1) on grass on Aug. 4, which was her U.S. debut after shipping in from Chile.
Dale Romans will saddle the three-year-old Dullahan, who competed in two of the three Triple Crown races this spring.
The colt was third in the Kentucky Derby (G1), and then was a disappointing seventh in the Belmont Stakes (G1) as the betting favorite.
The colt is a two-time Grade 1 winner over synthetics, taking the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) as a juvenile, and winning the Blue Grass (G1) in April, both of those wins coming over the polytrack at Keeneland.
Turf ‘n’ Sport handicapper Michael Dempsey will have his selections and analysis for the Pacific Classic in Sunday’s Best Plays Report.
The $1 million TVG Pacific Classic (G1) Wagering Odds
1. Rail Trip 10-1
2. Amani 5-1
3. Richard’s Kid 7-2
4. Where’s Sterling 15-1
5. Dullahan 6-1
6. Akkadian 20-1
7. Jaycito 12-1
8. Suggestive Boy 5-1
9. Game On Dude 5-2
10. Riveting Reason 30-1
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