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Accelerate to Hang it up After Pegasus World Cup

Written by:
Associated Press
Published on:
Jan/25/2019

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — (Associated Press) - Accelerate is the 9-5 favorite to win Saturday's $9 million Pegasus World Cup, drawing the No. 5 post in a field of 12 for the race to be run over 1 ⅛ miles of dirt at Gulfstream Park.


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It'll be the final race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic champion, who is a mere 1 ⅛ miles of Gulfstream Park dirt away from beginning his stud career at Lane's End Farm in Versailles, Kentucky.

"It's a good post," Accelerate trainer John Sadler said. "We didn't want to be on the outside, and we didn't want to be on the inside. We were hoping for 5 or 6, so we're very happy with the draw."

Odds to Win the 2019 Pegasus World Cup

Accelerate 9-5
City of Light 5-2
Gunnevera 8-1
Audible 10-1
Patternrecognition 10-1
Bravazo 12-1
Seeking the Soul 12-1
Tom's D'Etat 20-1
Something Awesome 20-1
True Timber 30-1
Kukulkan 30-1
Imperative 30-1

Accelerate was almost certainly going to be the pre-race favorite regardless of what spot in the starting gate he drew.

And a win on Saturday would only cement Accelerate as an all-time great: If he prevails, Accelerate's career earnings would place him in the top 10 among all North American thoroughbreds. That's the perk of the Pegasus, which offered purses of $12 million and $16 million in its first two runnings — and will pay out $16 million again this year, with $7 million of that earmarked for a newly added turf race to the program.

The Pegasus dirt (post time: 5:36 p.m.) is the richest purse in North America; the Pegasus turf (post time: 4:51 p.m.) has the richest purse for a grass race in North America.

"It's good for racing," said owner Ron Paolucci, who has Imperative in the Pegasus dirt race and Dubby Dubbie in the Pegasus turf. "That's what I got into it for. And truthfully, it's very selfish on my part. You win one of these races, it changes your life forever — not only in the racing community but in your financial situation."

City of Light is the second choice behind Accelerate at 5-2, and Gunnevera — who was second to Accelerate at the Breeders' Cup Classic — is 8-1 in the morning line. Gunnevera was third in the Pegasus World Cup last year.

Yoshida — a Grade 1 winner in both dirt and turf races — is the morning-line favorite for the Pegasus turf race at 5-2, just ahead of Catapult at 7-2. Yoshida finished last year on dirt and was fourth in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

"He's got a pedigree for both and he's one of the odd horses that has transitioned from one to the other," said Bill Mott, who trains Yoshida. "It's probably debatable whether his dirt races are better than his turf races, and they may well be, but he's a horse that won very nicely for us in the spring last year on the turf. He's run with good company, and we weighed our options here and thought that maybe the turf was the spot to go this time."

PEGASUS WORLD CUP

Post time: 5:36 p.m. Saturday at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. Purse: $9 million. Grade: 1. Distance: 1 1/8 miles. TV: NBC (4:30-6 p.m.).

Horse, trainer, jockey, morning-line odds
1. Bravazo, D. Wayne Lukas, Luis Saez, 12-1
2. Something Awesome, Jose Corrales, Edgar Prado, 20-1
3. City of Light, Mike McCarthy, Javier Castellano, 5-2
4. Seeking the Soul, Dallas Stewart, John Velazquez, 12-1
5. Accelerate, John Sadler, Joel Rosario, 9-5
6. Tom’s D’Etat, Al Stall Jr., Shaun Bridgmohan, 20-1
7. True Timber, Kiaran McLaughlin, Joe Bravo, 30-1
8. Gunnevera, Antonio Sano, Irad Ortiz, 8-1
9. Kukulkan, Fausto Gutierrez, Frankie Dettori, 30-1
10. Audible, Todd Pletcher, Flavien Prat, 10-1
11. Imperative, Anthony Quartarolo, Tyler Gaffalione, 30-1
12. Patternrecognition, Chad Brown, Jose Ortiz, 10-1

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