Ridden by Joel Rosario, the 5-year-old gelded son of Ghostzapper promptly opened up by two lengths and he cruised through an opening quarter-mile in 23.19 seconds, with the half going in 46.67. After shaking off a threat from Crossbow straightening for home, Pacific Ocean galloped unchallenged through the stretch under a hand ride and hit the wire in 1:22.53 for the seven furlongs. Crossbow held for third, with 4-5 favorite Jackson Bend finishing fourth after a wide trip.
“That was perfect,” said Rosario, who earned his first stakes score at Saratoga since piloting Blind Luck to win the Grade 1 Alabama in 2010. “I just tried to relax him as much as I could early, and hoped nobody put on any pressure, and that’s exactly what happened.”
“I told a lot of people that called me … he was training so much better for this race than he was for his last race,” said Rick Dutrow, Jr., who took over Pacific Ocean’s training this year. “In his last race, he had a bad post, there was a lot of speed, he was in a bad spot. Today was different. He had everything going his way. He was sitting on a race. He ran big.”
Overall, he is 5-1-0 from eight starts, including a win in the 2011 Grade 3 Vernon Underwood at Hollywood Park.
–NYRA Press contributed to this report.
Pacific Ocean/NYRA photo