2019 Pacific Classic predictions, contenders, lineup: Horse racing insider reveals surprising picks

The highlight of Del Mar's summer meet and one of the west coast's most prestigious races, the 2019 Pacific Classic, takes place Saturday evening at the picturesque oceanside track "where the turf meets the surf." The 1¼-mile Grade 1 race on the Del Mar dirt surface has drawn a wide-open field of 10 horses from all over the country. Stephen Foster Stakes winner Seeking the Soul has been installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite. The well-traveled Pavel, who has earned more than $2 million in his career, is the 7-2 second choice in the 2019 Pacific Classic odds. And Quip, who finished second to Seeking the Soul in the Stephen Foster, is the 9-2 third choice. Post time for the race is 9:30 p.m. ET. With such an evenly-matched field set to enter the starting gate, you'll want to see the horse racing predictions from SportsLine writer Gene Menez before making any 2019 Pacific Classic picks of your own.

A former reporter and editor at Sports Illustrated for almost 14 years, Menez covered an array of sports, including horse racing, for the magazine and its website. Between 2010 and 2012, he served as SI's handicapper for the Triple Crown races and correctly predicted Super Saver to win the Kentucky Derby in 2010. Four years ago, while writing for Sports on Earth, Menez accurately gave out the Kentucky Derby superfecta (American Pharoah, Firing Line, Dortmund and Frosted), which paid $1,268.20 for $2. Then in 2017, he tweeted out his Kentucky Derby picks, including Always Dreaming to win, and hit the Pick 4, which paid almost $6,900 for $1. 

Now, Menez has handicapped the 2019 Pacific Classic field, made his picks and formulated his bets. He is only sharing them at SportsLine.

We can tell you that he is fading Pavel, who finished second in the Pacific Classic last year and is the second choice on the morning line, at 7-2. Featuring the well known connections of trainer Doug O'Neill, jockey Mario Gutierrez and owner Reddam Racing, the globe-trotting Pavel has earned more than $2 million around the world. He enters the race off a third-place finish in the Suburban at Belmont Park in which he ran wide on both turns.

But Pavel rarely wins. In 17 career starts, he has won just three times, and in his last 14 starts, he has won only once. In addition, the winner of the Suburban, Preservationist, returned in the Whitney and ran a distant fourth. That does not flatter the chances of Pavel on Saturday.

Instead, Menez is high on a long shot hitting the board hard at a lucrative price. He's including this horse in his exactas and trifectas, and so should you. He's sharing his winner, predicted top four and must-see long shot only at SportsLine. 

Which horse wins the Pacific Classic 2019? And which long shot hits the board? Check out the latest Pacific Classic 2019 odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Menez's picks for the Pacific Classic.

1 War Story (8-1)
2 Quip (9-2)
3 Pavel (7-2)
4 For the Top (12-1)
5 Seeking the Soul (3-1)
6 Higher Power (8-1)
7 Tenfold (8-1)
8 Campaign (6-1)
9 Mongolian Groom (20-1)
10 Draft Pick (20-1)

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