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Accelerate Puts On A Show At Del Mar

The John Sadler-trained Accelerate put on a show in Saturday’s $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar, continuing his domination of the California handicap division to promote his claims for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The 2-5 favorite kept close tabs on the leaders as Roman Rosso, making his US debut for Bob Baffert, led Prime Attraction.
Accelerate took control past the three-eighths pole and shot clear, rolling home under a hand ride to win by 12.5 lengths, the largest winning margin in Pacific Classic history.
Stephen Foster victor Pavel completed the exacta and Prime Attraction held on for third.
It was the fourth win of the day for jockey Joel Rosario, who made the trip from Saratoga to fill in for injured Hall of Famer Victor Espinoza.
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“It was very impressive,” said Sadler. “He’s been good on this track, he’s won stakes here every year.
Accelerate had his coming out party at Del Mar last year when romping by 8.5 lengths in the G2 San Diego Hcp, scoring a major upset by leaving the champion Arrogate in fourth place.
He was third behind the Baffert-trained Collected and Arrogate in last year’s Pacific Classic before a ninth in the GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar last November and second in the G2 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita in December.
This year he kicked off with a defeat of Prime Attraction in the G2I San Pasqual Stakes followed by his first G1 victory in the Santa Anita Hcp in March.
A neck second to G1 winner City Of Light G2 Oaklawn Hcp followed before he won the GI Gold Cup at Santa Anita on May. joining Lava Man (2006) and Game On Duyde (2013) as winners of the Santa Anita Handicap (Big Cap), Gold Cup and Pacific Classic in the same year.
• At Saratoga Eskimo Kisses provided her young sire To Honor And Serve with his first G1I winner with a runaway victory in the prestigious Alabama Stakes.
Sweeping past rivals with an eye-catching move on the backstretch, Eskimo Kisses exploded clear to score her first graded win in style for trainer Keny McPeek and jockey Jose Ortiz.
“We were waiting for this race since February,” said McPeek.
Ortiz also won last year’s Alabama aboard Elate.
“I just followed instructions and did what Kenny told me to Take her back, let her take me to the half-mile pole and then let her do the rest,” Ortiz said.
“She’s a really nice filly, she deserved it.”
Eskimo Kisses has won three of her 10 career starts and has been placed four times including the G1 Ashland Stakes.
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