TrainerJohn W. Sadler
OwnerHronis Racing LLC
SireLookin At Lucky
Hronis Racing LLC’s Accelerate took command at the head of the stretch, turned back a bid from Thunder Snow at the three-sixteenths pole and then held off Gunnevera by a length to win the 35th running of the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) for 3-year-olds and up before a crowd of 70,423 to climax the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs.
Trained by John Sadler and ridden by Joel Rosario, Accelerate covered 1 ¼ miles over a fast track in 2:02.93. The victory gave Sadler his first Breeders’ Cup triumph and was the ninth for Rosario and first in the Classic.
Accelerate is a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Lookin At Lucky out of the Awesome Again mare Issues. The Classic was the fourth consecutive Grade 1 victory and fifth of 2018 for Accelerate who has compiled a 7-6-1-0 record in 2018. It was Accelerate’s fourth victory at the 1 ¼-Mile distance in 2018.
Mendelssohn led the field of 14 through fractions of :22.68, :46.46 and 1:10.61 with McKinzie and West Coast stalking to his outside and Thunder Snow saving ground along the rail. Rosario had Accelerate in the clear after breaking from post 14 and approaching the far turn made his move at the leaders. At the head of the stretch, Accelerate swooped to the lead with Thunder Snow moving to second to mount a short-lived challenge.
“He ran a great race and Joel rode him perfectly,” Sadler said. “We thought that post (14) might be a bonus on the outside. He never got in trouble and never had anything in front of him.”
“That was about as good as it gets,” Rosario said. “That horse is simply unbelievable. It was a great performance.”
Accelerate began his 2018 campaign Feb. 3 with a 1 ¾-length victory in the San Pasqual (G2) at Santa Anita and five weeks later romped in the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) by 5 ½ lengths. In his first start outside California, Accelerate finished second by a neck to eventual Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner City of Light in the Oaklawn Handicap (G2). Accelerate rebounded with daylight victories in the Gold Cup (G1) at Santa Anita by 4 ¼ lengths, the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar by 12 ½ lengths and the Awesome Again (G1) at Santa Anita by 2 ¼ lengths.
Sold as a yearling in 2014 at Keeneland for $380,000, Accelerate was the second Breeders’ Cup starter for breeder Mike Abraham. Abraham, a native of New Mexico, bred Accelerate’s half brother, Daddy D T, who finished third in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Santa Anita.
Accelerate was voted Eclipse Award Champion Older Dirt Male of 2018.