Accelerate betting favorite on Pegasus World Cup odds

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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.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

What to know about the 151st Belmont Stakes

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Rogue riderless horse Bodexpress won’t make an appearance at the 2019 Belmont Stakes, but the 151st iteration of the race won’t be without major star power. Mark Casse‘s War of Will looks to claim the third jewel in the Triple Crown just three weeks after his 2019 Preakness Stakes win and a month removed from the 145th Kentucky Derby, where he was one of the horses most impacted by the disqualified first place finisher Maximum Security. The field is set to be a combination of Derby and Preakness horses, some of which have never met before—only fitting for a race known as the “Test of the Champion.”

What is the Belmont Stakes? The Belmont Stakes is the last leg of the American Triple Crown of horse racing. Like the Derby and the Preakness, it’s a Grade I Thoroughbred stakes races. The Belmont Stakes is 1 1/2 miles, or 12 furlongs, which makes it the longest race in the Triple Crown.

The Belmont is run on the dirt track (also known as “Big Sandy”) at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. It was first raced in 1867, making it the oldest jewel in the Triple Crown (and the fourth oldest race in North America). However, the race wasn’t run in 1911 or 1912, which is why the Kentucky Derby is still the longest continuous sporting event in the country. The Belmont always been run in or around New York City, having raced at Jerome Park (now closed), Morris Park (also closed) and Aqueduct in addition to Belmont, which is just east of Queens.

Aside from being the last hurdle for Triple Crown contenders, the Belmont is known for Secretariat’s 31-length victory in 1973, which sealed his Triple Crown title and set the current world record at 2:24 for 1 1/2 miles on dirt.

When is the 2019 Belmont Stakes? The 151st Belmont Stakes is on Saturday, June 8. Post time will be at approximately 6:50 p.m. ET.

What is unique about the Belmont Stakes? The Belmont is the final test for horses seeking a Triple Crown title. Horses have an additional week of rest between races as opposed to the Preakness, but the Belmont is also the longest race of the three.

Belmont Park is only a few miles away from New York City, and city dwellers can just hop on the Long Island Rail Road for a day at the races. The annual Belmont Festival features several days packed with racing and other events. This year, hip-hop artist Flo Rida will perform on June 8.

How can I watch the 2019 Belmont Stakes? NBC is home to the 151st Belmont Stakes, providing comprehensive race coverage and analysis live on TV and NBCSports.com before, during and after the main event. Get started with NBCSN on Friday, June 7 at 5 p.m. for the Belmont Gold Cup. NBCSN coverage continues on Saturday, June 8 at 2:30 p.m. before moving to NBC at 4 p.m. See the broadcast schedule here.

Who are the horses to watch?

  • 2019 Preakness winner War of Will could become just the 12th horse in history to lose in the Derby but come back to win both the Preakness and Belmont. The last horse to do this was Afleet Alex in 2005. “WOW” crossed the wire 8th at Churchill Downs and was elevated to 7th.
  • Trained by 2019 Kentucky Derby winner-trainer Bill Mott, the easy-to-spot gray horse Tacitus finished fourth in the Derby and was elevated to third.
  • Longshot Preakness runner up Everfast and third place finisher Owendale will look for redemption against War of Will.
  • Master Fencer was one of the biggest surprises of the 145th Kentucky Derby. Not only did he become the first Japan-bred horse to race in the Run for the Roses, but he defied expectations and finished 7th (elevated to 6th), crossing the wire ahead of fellow Belmont competitor War of Will.

Who won the 2018 Belmont Stakes? WinStar Farm’s colt Justify, trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Mike Smith, won the 150th Preakness Stakes to become the 13th-ever Triple Crown winner.

What comes next? NBC Sports is home to all things Breeders’ Cup and will have comprehensive coverage from Santa Anita on Friday, Nov. 2 and Saturday, Nov. 3. Qualifying races for the 2020 Kentucky Derby will start back up in the late winter and early spring of next year on NBCSN. Racing fans can also hope for a competitor in Gary West‘s $5 million challenge to the horses impeded by Maximum Security that they can’t beat him in a race.

3rd horse in 9 days dies at Santa Anita

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ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Santa Anita had its third horse death in nine days when a gelding pulled up during a race and was euthanized.

Twenty-six horses have died in racing or training at the Southern California track since Dec. 26.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Kochees sustained an injury to its left front leg in a 5 1/2-furlong race Saturday.

Kochees was taken off the course with a splint. The newspaper says during surgery Sunday it was determined that the 9-year-old horse had lost blood flow to the leg and the decision was made to euthanize.

Santa Anita is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup Nov. 1-2. It’s considered the biggest two-day event in U.S. horse racing.