by Jerry Shottenkirk
September 29, 2018
It’s Accelerate or West Coast in the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita. And on the late Pick 4, there’s certainly no shame in using both.
Hard to go wrong with both on the ticket, and that’s what it could take.
Accelerate will be a popular choice in the Awesome Again of that crushing 12-length win in the Pacific Classic. Hard to imagine a more dominant performance this year.
However, despite not having won since taking the 2017 Pennsylvania Derby, West Coast will have his share of supporters, and rightfully so. He was 3rd in the Breeders Cup Classic, 2nd in the Pegasus World Cup and 2nd in the Dubai World Cup (each time behind the outstanding Gun Runner), which was on March 31 and was his most recent start. He had a five-race win streak last year and has won nearly $5.7 million.
West Coast has works that indicate he’s ready to go. Meanwhile, Accelerate has some moderate drills since his Pacific Classic win in August and likely will be a strong factor throughout the nine-furlong event.
Accelerate has the edge in recent form and West Coast has the overall class advantage. Should be a great one.
Perhaps the most enigmatic race of the Pick 4 is the ninth, the Grade I Chandelier for 2-year-old fillies. It’s evenly matched from top to bottom, and with six in it, the “all” button is utilized here. It’s extremely difficult to whittle it down and also have shown ability and all but one of them has been two turns.
A triumvirate is in play in the 10th, the Grade I Rodeo Drive for fillies and mares. Cambodia certainly has the credentials, but Paved and Vasilika have races on their form that make them strong challengers.
After the Awesome Again is decided in the 11th, fillies will decide the finale leg of the Pick 4 in the Unzip Me Stakes. Ms Bad Behavior is the deserving favorite but True Royalty also is worthy of attention.
9) ALL (6 horses)
10) #1 Paved, #6 Vasilika, #8 Cambodia.
11) #5 West Coast, #6 Accelerate.
12) #10 Ms Bad Behavior, #11 True Royalty.
Total Ticket Cost) $36 for $0.50