With rain forecast in Southern California starting Friday evening in an erratic weather pattern forecast over the next few days, Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic winner and Horse of the Year finalist Accelerate will work at Santa Anita on Friday morning at 6:30 instead of Saturday, as previously scheduled, in advance of the $9-million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 26.
Trainer John Sadler did not have a specific distance in mind, only that it would be “long.” Accelerate, a 6-year-old son of Lookin At Lucky, worked six furlongs last Saturday in a bullet 1:13.40 under assistant trainer Juan Leyva, who will be aboard Friday.
Meanwhile, Pegasus contender City of Light, the only horse to defeat Accelerate in 2018, having done so by a neck in the G2 Oaklawn Handicap last April, couldn't be doing better for the potential rematch in North America's richest race, at 1 1/8 miles, according to his trainer.
“His attitude is good, his appetite is great and he's training with a lot of energy,” trainer Michael McCarthy said of the speedy and determined 5-year-old son of Quality Road.
“We'll handicap Mother Nature here this weekend, be sure we have a decent track to work on and go from there.”
Thursday morning, Bob Baffert was still mulling whether or not to start McKinzie in the Pegasus World Cup. “We're just waiting and don't want to get in a rush with him,” Baffert said of the impressive 4 ¾-length winner of the G1 Malibu on Dec. 26. “It's a long year.”
If the 4-year-old colt by Street Sense does not to run in the Pegasus, the G2 San Pasqual Stakes at a mile and an eighth on Feb. 2 would be his first option, Baffert said.
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