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.

War of Will wins the 2019 Preakness Stakes

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War of Will, jockeyed by Tyler Gaffalione and trained by Mark Casse, won the 144th Preakness Stakes after a brief inquiry. This is the first Triple Crown win for both Casse and Gaffalione.

The win comes two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, where War of Will was one of the primary horses Maximum Security impeded during one of the most historic and controversial Kentucky Derby races on record. War of Will, known as “WOW” around the barn, finished 8th at Churchill and was elevated to 7th.

“I’m very happy for the horse, he deserved it more than anything. He’s so special,” said Gaffalione. “It really hasn’t even hit me yet. I can’t even put it into words. I just can’t thank my family enough for their support.”

Jockey John Velazquez was unseated off of Bodexpress out of the gate, and the riderless No. 9 horse continued to run with the pack. Stewards flagged the incident but quickly cleared it and listed him as “did not finish.” Outriders couldn’t attempt to catch him until later in the race because of how close he was running to other horses.

“I’m good,” said Velazquez. “To tell you the truth I’m just disappointed.”

After starting four back from pace-setter Warrior’s Charge, War of Will clung to the rail until sneaking through an opening down the homestretch to take over the lead. Longshot Everfast finished 1 1/4 lengths behind in second, and Owendale took third. Improbable, Bob Baffert‘s morning line favorite jockeyed by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, finished in fourth. Maryland-bred Alwaysmining ran 11th. See the full results here.

War of Will’s win comes just two weeks after one of the most controversial Kentucky Derby races in history. Maximum Security led wire-to-wire but was disqualified 22 minutes after crossing the finish line for impacting the forward progress of several horses, including War of Will and Bodexpress. Track stewards disqualified him, and every horse was moved up one position. Longshot Country House (65-1) finished second and was elevated to first.

For the first time since Grindstone in 1996, the Kentucky Derby winner didn’t run. Country House showed signs of a developing illness and stopped training. Maximum Security was rested after the Derby.

This was also the first time that none of the top-3 Kentucky Derby finishers have run in the second leg of the Triple Crown since 1951.

The Preakness Stakes, raced annually at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, is marked by its shorter distance and smaller field. Run just two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, the fast turnaround time can be the biggest challenge for horses who just ran at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May.

NBC’s coverage of the Triple Crown concludes at Belmont Park for the 151st Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 8 on NBC and the NBC Sports app.

Last year, Baffert’s horse Justify won the 143rd Preakness with Smith en route to win the 2018 Triple Crown. Owned by WinStar Farm, he became the 13th horse to do so and Baffert’s second, just three years after American Pharoah in 2015.

Baffert’s Improbable remains favorite to win the Preakness

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BALTIMORE (AP) Bob Baffert-trained Improbable remains the favorite for the Preakness.

Improbable is 3-1 to win the second jewel of the Triple Crown after being installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite. He was also the favorite in the Kentucky Derby, finished fifth and was placed fourth after Maximum Security was disqualified.

War of Will, who was initially the second choice in wagering at 4-1, was 6-1 as of late Saturday morning. Bourbon War, who didn’t run in the Derby, has been bet down from 12-1 to 9-2.

Last-minute addition Everfast, who opened 50-1, is no longer the longest shot on the board; he is now 22-1. The longest shot now is 26-1 Market King, who is trained by six-time Preakness winner D. Wayne Lukas.

Odds will continue to fluctuate until post time at 6:48 p.m.