Irish Surf, entered in both the Del Mar Handicap and $1 million TVG Pacific Classic this weekend at Del Mar, will opt for the Aug. 24 Classic, trainer Dan Hendricks reported.
The decision opened up a spot in the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap Aug. 23, which will likely be filled by Ice Cream Truck, who was on the also eligible list for the 1 ⅜-mile turf event.
Irish Surf ran away to an 8 ¼-length victory in the 1 ½-mile Cougar II Handicap on Polytrack July 25. Given that performance, and his subsequent training over the surface, Hendricks chose the 1 ¼-mile Pacific Classic even though 13 of the Giant's Causeway colt's 18 lifetime starts have been on grass.
In other late shuffling, Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale scratched the filly Topic out of the Aug. 22 CTT & TOC Handicap, to run her against males -- among them stablemate and 7-2 morning line favorite Fire With Fire -- in Saturday's Del Mar Handicap.
In Topic and Fire With Fire, Drysdale has two horses coming in freshened off strong efforts. Topic, a 4-year-old Discreet Cat filly, finished second but was disqualified to ninth of 12 in the Robert G. Dick Memorial July 14 at Delaware Park. Fire With Fire, a 6-year-old son of Distorted Humor, has been away since winning the Charles Whittingham Stakes May 24 at Santa Anita Park.