1991 Pacific Classic

With the screams of 28134 fans rising an octave with every last stride he took to the wire, Best Pal caught Twilight Agenda in the final 30 yards Saturday to score a one-length victory in the $1-million Pacific Classic, the richest race in the 52-year history of Del Mar. Because he was a 3-year-old in a field of older horses, Best Pal carried eight pounds less than the others in the 1 1/4-race that was expected to establish the horse of the year. Instead, Best Pal's victory complicated the issue, with Farma Way, the 3-2 favorite, running fifth after leading until the quarter pole, and Festin, his late-running archrival in four other races, ending up fourth. Best Pal was bred and is raced by John and Betty Mabee, San Diegans who have been part of the Del Mar family for more than 20 years. John Mabee is chairman of the board at the track and was one of the forces behind creation of the Pacific Classic. "This horse is the public's choice," Mabee said after Best Pal's $550000 payday. "We just wanted to run a horse in this race that wouldn't disgrace us. I thought he was better coming into this race than the press gave him credit for, but maybe this was just owner prejudice. "There's no question that he's got a fan base. He would have been 15-1 instead of 9-2 if they had paid attention to the handicappers in the papers." Twilight Agenda, Farma Way's stablemate from trainer Wayne Lukas' barn, took the lead from Farma Way heading into the stretch but finished second, 2 3/4 ...

 

 



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