2015 Breeders' Cup victor and fellow Triple Crown champion American Pharaoh, another Bob Baffert-trained horse, highlights the weekend undercard. Accelerate made a sweeping move in the far turn and was in charge at the top of the stretch, then held off Gunnevera for his fifth consecutive Grade 1 victory and sixth of seven overall this year.
"To me, he's the Horse of the Year, no doubt", Sadler said. After his maiden win at Del Mar, he went on to take the Grade I Del Mar Futurity and Grade I American Pharoah at Santa Anita. He is now 10-for-22 lifetime and though triple crown victor Justify is the likely horse of the year, Accelerate clinched an Eclipse Award himself with the win.
The five-race "Future Stars" card, featuring 2-year-olds on both turf and dirt, also might have turned up a prospect for the original Derby - the one in England - as well as next year's Kentucky Oaks.
Rosario, who won the Juvenile Fillies on the back of Jaywalk earlier in the day, was looking to continue his winning ways when riding favorite Accelerate in the US$6 million Breeders' Cup Classic yesterday.
"The Classic is a newer race but a great race, and he won that so smashingly". "I really thought there was enough speed in here that she'd probably be sitting off it a bit, but Joel said when she left the gate, he knew right then she had running on her mind, and he just took it from there". "With what he accomplished, in such a short amount of time, he deserves Horse of the Year", Cox said.
"He broke really well", Rosario said of Accelerate. "That horse, he likes Churchill Downs". I was waiting for her to give me the message that she was ready to go, and I could see Magical on my inside. Stellar Wind's loss in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Distaff had to sting in particular, after she lost to Stopchargingmaria by a neck after a troubled trip. He is owned by WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and SF Racing, all ownership partners in this year's Triple Crown victor Justify.
The John Gosden-trained filly didn't get her four-year-old season underway until September thanks to a leg injury, but that didn't stop the bay star from winning a second straight Arc on October 7 with Frankie Dettori in the irons.
Often featuring U.S. Horse of the Year candidates and notoriously more hard to predict, the event began on Friday from Louisville with the first of 14 races, and it concludes with the Cup Classic itself on Saturday night - a finale touting a $6-million purse.
Enable followed up last month's Arc de Triomphe victory by winning the $4 million Turf by 3/4 lengths over Magical. She earned her 10th win from 11 career starts.
The Pennsylvania bred recently won the La Lorgnette Stakes at Woodbine and a year ago, opened her career with a win in the Ontario Debutante Stakes and a second-place finish in the Mazarine Stakes.