DEL MAR, Calif. -- Richard's Kid successfully defended his title in the $1 million Pacific Classic on Saturday, closing from the back of the field to get his first Grade 1 victory of the year.
Ridden by Mike Smith, Richard's Kid ($11.60) rallied five wide entering the stretch to win the Pacific Classic by three-quarters of a length over Crowded House, a 12-1 longshot. Dakota Phone finished third, followed by Battle of Hastings, The Usual Q.T., Temple City, Isle of Giant's, Hold Me Back, Unusual Suspect, and Awesome Gem.
The Usual Q.T. was the 5-2 favorite. He was well-placed on the backstretch, but faded in the final furlong to finish 2 3/4 lengths behind Richard's Kid.
Richard's Kid ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.27. A 5-year-old horse, Richard's Kid is owned by Zabeel Racing International of Dubai and is trained by Bob Baffert.
Richard's Kid was ninth for the first half-mile, well behind Isle of Giant's, who set an early pace of 24.82 and 49.25 seconds. Smith guided Richard's Kid three wide at the end of the backstretch, was four wide on the turn and five wide in early stretch before taking the lead in deep stretch.
By Lemon Drop Kid, Richard's Kid has won 8 of 26 starts and $1,566,370. Earlier this year, Richard's Kid won the Grade 2 San Antonio Handicap at Santa Anita and was seventh in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse. This summer, he was third in the Hollywood Gold Cup and the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap here on July 30.
Last year, Richard's Kid won the Pacific Classic in a 24-1 upset, the first major win of his career.