by Jerry Shottenkirk
January 26, 2019
Accelerate checks all the boxes for today’s Pegasus World Cup and will be very, very difficult to beat in the 1 1-8th-mile test around the Gulfstream Park track.
Is there a chance to beat him? Of course. There’s always a chance. He hasn’t had many off days lately (actually none) and the probability of him bringing less than his ‘A’ game is low. Gun Runner was the 2018 winner, and Accelerate could be on a par with one. If not, he’s not far back. It’s difficult to find a weakness in his game, and in his last four, it’s impossible. No horse has the career momentum like Accelerate.
Do we single him in the Pegasus World Cup? No shame in doing that, for sure. But I’m throwing in a second horse on the ticket: Gunnevera. The pace of the race should be very lively, thanks to City of Light (the last to beat Accelerate, by a neck in the Oaklawn Handicap), Tom’s d’Etat, True Timber and Patternrecognition, mainly. Tom’s d’Etat only is successful when he on or very near the front end, True Timber is mostly a sprinter whose best mile effort was a second to Patternrecognition, who also is in this and another gate-to-wire tough.
Accelerate will be under the guidance of Joel Rosario, who was aboard in his last three after the injury to regular pilot Victor Espinoza. It would be difficult to map out a better scenario for him, as the pace should be rapid, and once he engages the leaders, he can put them away when called upon. The biggest challenge could be locally based Gunnevera, who was a fast-closing second to Accelerate in the Classic. Irad Ortiz, fresh off an Eclipse Award win, took over the riding chores on Gunnevera in the Classic and keeps the mount today.
Here’s the suggested ticket for the late Pick 4 at Gulfstream Park:
Race 9) #1 Coal Front, #2 Storm Advisory, #4 Breaking Lucky, #6 Aztec Sense.
Race 10) #2 Soglio, #4 Zulu Alpha, #7 Canessar, #8 Hunting Horn.
Race 11) #1 Magic Wand, #5 Next Shares, #7 Bricks and Mortar, #9 Catapult.
Race 12) #5 Accelerate, #8 Gunnevera.
50-cent Pick 4: 1-2-4-6 with 2-4-7-8 with 1-5-7-9 and 5-8 ($64)