Accelerate rushes to upset win over Arrogate at Del Mar
By Art Wilson
DEL MAR >> Trainer John Sadler is beginning to make upsets look commonplace, taking the place of the late Allen Jerkens as horse racing’s “Giant Killer.”
Last year, Sadler saddled Stellar Wind for a surprise victory over Beholder in the Clement L. Hirsch, one of the most thrilling races of the Del Mar summer meet.
But Saturday, Sadler made that upset victory look almost run of the mill, saddling 7-1 shot Accelerate for a shocking victory over Arrogate, the 1-20 favorite, in the $300,000 Grade II San Diego Handicap at Del Mar in front of 16,568.
Cigar met his Waterloo in the 1996 Pacific Classic at Del Mar, losing as the 1-9 favorite to 39-1 longshot Dare And Go. On Saturday, it was Arrogate’s turn.
“He (Accelerate) likes this track, he won two races here last year,” Sadler said. “And he trained really well Sunday up at Santa Anita.”
But did Sadler really in his heart believe he had a chance to slay the giant?
“I mean, you don’t expect to win, but I thought we’d run well, and they kept telling me it’s $60,000 for second,” he said. “You wanna win. We don’t concede anything, but I’m surprised we won because Arrogate is the best horse in the world.
“A couple of things went right for us. (El Huerfano), the other speed horse, it looked like the rider lost his irons (when he stumbled out of the gate), and maybe Arrogate didn’t fire his best effort today. That’s what kinda has to happen for some of these big upsets.”
Accelerate, under Victor Espinoza, led gate to wire, carving out fractions of 23.49, 47.06 and 1:11.39 en route to an 8 1/2-length victory. Donworth, at 24-1, finished second, and it was another 2 1/2 lengths back to third-place finisher Cat Burglar.
Arrogate, last most of the way, made a […]