Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) champion Accelerate will lead a stellar field in Saturday’s $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park, the richest horse race run in the United States.
The 12-race card at Gulfstream Park includes nine stakes with the co-feature the first running of the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), which is the second richest race to be run in the United States this year.
Accelerate is listed as the +150 betting favorite (wager $100 to win $150) on the Pegasus World Cup odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com for what will be the final race of his career. He will head off to stud duty this spring. Accelerate has won 10 of his 22 career starts and has earned $5,792,480.
The first two editions of the Pegasus World Cup were won by Arrogate and Gun Runner, who were both Breeders’ Cup Classic winners.
Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner City of Light appears to be Accelerate’s biggest threat for Saturday’s race and is the lone runner that defeated him in 2018. City of Light edged Accelerate by a neck in the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) last April but Accelerate got revenge by soundly defeating him when they met next in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) in May.
City of Light is the second choice on the betting lines at +300. His Beyer Speed Figure for his Dirt Mile win was 110 compared to Accelerate’s 105 for his Classic victory.
Gunnevera is next on the betting lines at +800. The Antonio Sano trainee made a good late rally to finish in the runner-up spot in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, coming up just a length short of Accelerate. Trained by Antonio Sano, he has won four times over the Gulfstream Park main track and ran third in last year’s Pegasus.
As well, there are several horses in the race with solid credentials that have generous prices. Among those are Bravazo (+1200), who was beaten just a neck in the Clark Handicap (G1) in his last start. The D. Wayne Lukas trainee raced in each of the Triple Crown races last year, the best result a runner-up finish in the Preakness Stakes (G1).
Audible (+1000) will be saddled by trainer Todd Pletcher. The colt won the Florida Derby (G1) last year over the main track at Gulfstream Park. Patternrecognition took the field gate to wire to win the Cigar Mile Handicap (G1), while Seeking the Soul (+1600) was second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and third in the Clark in his last two starts.
Also, Mexican sensation Kukulkan is perfect in 14 career starts. The legendary jockey Frankie Dettori will ride Kukulkan on Saturday, with the horse a longshot at +6600 on the odds to win the Pegasus World Cup.
Completing the field are Charles Town Classic (G2) winner Something Awesome (+4000), Tenacious Stakes winner Tom’s d’Etat (+4000), Cigar Mile runner up True Timber (+2500) and Imperative, who was a distant ninth in his last start against optional claimers.
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