Hronis Racing LLC's Accelerate, the 9-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday's $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), got acquainted with Gulfstream Park during a morning gallop Wednesday.
John Sadler-trained Accelerate arrived at Gulfstream Park Tuesday evening, along with stablemate Catapult, who will compete in Saturday's $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1).
“Accelerate's doing fine. They were delayed. They got in a little bit late last night. They had a good night,” Santa Anita-based Sadler said. “He went out and galloped a mile and a quarter, so everything looks good.”
Exercise rider Javier Meza was aboard Accelerate in his first visit to the Gulfstream Park racetrack, where the 6-year-old son of Lookin At Lucky will conclude his racing career before embarking on a career as a stallion at Lane's End in Versailles, KY.
“He said he was looking around a bit. That would be expected the first day,” Sadler said. “He said he handled the track well, so he's pretty happy.”
Accelerate, who enters the Pegasus on a four-race win streak in Grade 1 stakes, is a finalist for the 2018 Horse of the Year title, which will be announced at the Eclipse Awards dinner in Gulfstream Park's Sport of Kings Thursday evening. Although undefeated Triple Crown winner Justify may stand in his way for racing's most prestigious title, Accelerate is a cinch to walk off with the award for outstanding older dirt horse.
Accelerate's neighbor in Barn 16, City of Light, arrived at Gulfstream from Southern California Jan. 16 and continued to please trainer Michael McCarthy Wednesday morning.
“He's settled in nicely. We're sticking to the same type of routine we'd have in California,” McCarthy said. “The horse seems to be enjoying himself.”
Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr.'s City of Light, who will also be retired to Lane's End Farm following the Pegasus World Cup, was the only horse to beat Accelerate in 2018. The 5-year-old son of Quality Road prevailed by a neck over Accelerate in the Oaklawn Park Handicap (G2) before finishing third behind the Horse of the Year finalist in the Santa Anita Gold Cup (G1). City of Light is a finalist for the older dirt male Eclipse Award, along with Accelerate and Gun Runner, who captured the 2018 Pegasus World Cup before retiring to stud.
Charles Fipke's Seeking the Soul and G M B Racing's Tom's d'Etat arrived from Fair Grounds, along with Accelerate and Catapult, Tuesday evening.
Seeking the Soul, a Grade 1-stakes winner who finished fifth in last year's Pegasus World Cup, reacquainted himself with the Gulfstream oval Wednesday morning.
“Everything's fine. The horse is in great shape. I'm very happy,” trainer Dallas Stewart said.
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