Accelerate to take second run at Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

August 21st, 2017

Accelerate has beaten Arrogate in two of their three lifetime meetings, but after finishing nearly three lengths behind the champion in last Saturday's Pacific Classic (G1), he won't be taking a chance at running up that record to three-for-four.

A day after Accelerate finished third in the Pacific Classic in his first attempt at 1 1/4 miles, trainer John Sadler revealed the four-year-old would point for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) rather than the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) at Del Mar in November.

"He ran a good race, we're happy with his effort," Sadler said. "I don't think he's a true mile-and-a-quarter horse. So he'll drop back to the mile distance for the Breeders' Cup."

This would mark Accelerate's second stab at the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. Last year at Santa Anita, a little over three months after breaking his maiden, Accelerate finished a credible third in the Dirt Mile to Tamarkuz. Second in that race was fellow three-year-old Gun Runner, a prime contender for this year's Classic.

After dropping his first four outings of 2017, Accelerate turned in a career-best effort when capturing the July 22 San Diego H. (G2) by more than eight lengths. A distant fourth that day was Arrogate, who Accelerate had also beaten to the line in their respective debut in April 2016.

Their careers diverged after that race. While Accelerate went on to register narrow wins in the $100,000 Shared Belief and Los Alamitos Derby (G2) before the Dirt Mile, Arrogate made a successful late bid for champion three-year-old honors with a track-record romp in the Travers (G1) and a win over Horse of the Year California Chrome in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Earlier this year, Arrogate became North America's all-time leading money winner earlier following wins in the $12 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) and $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1).

Even after the loss in the Pacific Classic, Accelerate still holds a three-for-four mark over the main track at Del Mar, not a bad record to have going into this year's Dirt Mile. He figures to be a formidable contender.

(Benoit Photos)