Richard's Kid oulasted Crowded House by three-quarters of a length to win the $1 million Pacific Classic on Saturday for the second consecutive year at Del Mar.
Ridden by Mike Smith, Richard's Kid ran 1¼ miles in 2:03.27 in the West's richest race, and joined Skimming (2000-01) and Tinners Way (1994-95) as the third horse to win the Pacific Classic twice.
Trainer Bob Baffert wasn't on hand to celebrate. He was back East at Saratoga, where he saddled Rapport to win The Victory Ride.
Baffert openly dislikes Del Mar's synthetic Polytrack surface.
"Think he's smiling now?" a grinning Smith said.
Fellow Hall of Famers Smith and Baffert each won the Classic for the third time.
Crowded House returned $10.60 and $6.40, while Dakota Phone was another half-length back in third and paid $4.80 to show.
The Usual Q.T. finished fifth as the 5-2 favorite. Awesome Gem was last in the field of 10 in his record fourth bid to win.
Richard's Kid had just one horse beat going down the backside. But Isle of Giant's was setting a slow pace up front, and Richard's Kid has a stretch-running style.
The same tactics worked last year. Richard's Kid came from next-to-last and passed Einstein in the final few jumps to win by a neck.
This year, Richard's Kid paid $11.60, $5.60 and $3.80 at 9-2 odds. A year ago, he and Smith won at 24-1, third-biggest upset in the race's 20-year history.
After winning last year's Classic for owner Arnold Zetcher, Richard's Kid was sold to Zabeel Racing International Corp., the racing operation of Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed al Maktoum. He is the oldest son of Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai who owns racing giants Darley and Godolphin stables.
Richard's Kid earned an automatic spot in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.
"We'll leave that up to Bob," said Omar Trevino, al Maktoum's racing manager.
Richard's Kid won the San Antonio Handicap at Santa Anita on Feb. 7 in his debut for his new owner, then finished seventh in the $10 million Dubai World Cup. He came into the Classic off consecutive third-place finishes in two stakes.
Enriched led all the way in winning the $190,000 Del Mar Mile by three-quarters of a length to earn a spot in the Breeders' Cup Mile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.
Ridden by Joel Rosario, Enriched ran one mile on the Jimmy Durante turf course in 1:34.83 and paid $6.40, $3.80 and $2.60 as the 2-1 favorite in the field of seven.
"I've ridden this horse before and I know how good he is," Rosario said. "He broke really well and I wasn't going to hold him back. Then when we turned for home he went perfect."
The 5-year-old gelding is a half-brother to retired Lava Man, thoroughbred racing's richest claiming horse. Enriched was claimed in November for $32,000 by trainer Doug O'Neill, who oversaw Lava Man. Since then, he's earned $340,676.
Meteore returned $6.20 and $3.20, while Bruce's Dream was another neck back in third and paid $2.60 to show.